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Step Increases & Wages for Educators in Florida

Posted By: Debbie Harrell on February 2, 2004
 
Once again, here in the state of Florida, specifically in Palm Beach, teachers are seeking justified increases to their individual salaries. Palm Beach is one of the richest counties in the international world. Perhaps, I do not completely understand the dynamics of their system as a new educator from rural Missouri, however, quality education like quality educators are an integral asset to any community or country. So how do educators move ahead in their individual lives without the slightest marginal increase in wages to plan a future or financial portfolio? I think teachers all around the nation should empathize with these politics and rally for higher wages for us all.

For example, the average Palm Beach teacher may serve the community for over twenty years with the present salary structure and never have the opportunity to even earn enough money to join the “cheapest” golf course in Palm Beach. Is there a choice between a cost of living increase and step increases that are honored in most states in the country? And what is 2.5% of monies that were supposedly guaranteed from the previous year? Students can be taught in a field of dreams! More buildings? I would love to entertain a discussion on Columbine and the dedicated professional educators who shielded students to save their lives. Did they think 2.5% when there is that choice! Do you get paid a little extra when you have a fight every week, daily graffiti on the walls and profanity in the classroom, I mean, to listen to this, let alone teach. I don’t know if Florida administrators walk the halls of educational institutions, but they are all over the districts in other states.

With state to state testing and ranking competition, it is not like Florida has no quality personnel. Most teachers who have been recruited from other states are at best, under-employed and waiting for transfer certification while other states grab these professionals with the blink of an eye.

As an outsider, the Florida teachers should know that we all stand beside them and wish them the best of luck. If you can spend $25,000.00US annually to watch an animal or clean your home, why can’t you spend $26,000.00US to educate the most precious commodity we have in the United States, OUR CHILDREN!
Dr. Deborah B. A. Harrell
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 Step Increases & Wages for Educators in Florida by Debbie Harrell on February 2, 2004
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