HIALEAH, Fla. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Monday that he would approve $1.25 billion in education related funding for teacher pay, an increase of $200 million from last year, according to the governor’s office.

What You Need To Know

  • DeSantis announced he plans to approve $1.25 billion in education spending for teacher pay

  • That would bring starting teacher pay to around $48,000 a year

  • The FEA reported Florida ranks 16th in the country for average starting teacher pay

The latest educator pay package builds on increases since the governor took office, increasing starting teacher salaries from roughly $40,000 a year, to roughly $48,000 a year.

DeSantis increased teacher salaries in 2020, signing an additional $500 million that year earmarked for raises for teachers, and another increase in the teacher pay budget in 2023 of $252 million.

“Florida’s education system is number one in the nation, and we want to make sure good educators are attracted to Florida with attractive compensation,” DeSantis said. “I am proud to have invested more than $4 billion for teacher pay increases since the beginning of my time in office, and I will continue to push for increased funding for Florida’s teachers.”

The Florida Education Association released a report in April that ranked average teacher pay in the state in last place among the 50 states, but number 16 out of 50 in average starting teacher pay.

Meanwhile, the FEA also took issue with the amount of funding going towards vouchers to private schools, saying that of the $2.3 billion invested in education in 2023, $1.1 billion went towards private schools through the state’s new voucher program and allows parents to use state funds to pay towards private tuition.

Proponents of the latest budget allocation say that Florida’s rise in starting teacher pay will bring teachers to the state.

“I want to thank Governor DeSantis for his steadfast commitment and unwavering dedication to Florida’s education system throughout the years,” said Florida Department of Education Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr. “Florida continues to attract some of the best educators in the country and it is a testament to the work that Governor DeSantis has done to support education and raise teacher pay. Florida is the education state and with investments like this, we will continue to lead the nation for years to come.”