The Hernando County School Board approved a consent agenda item on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 which will raise the base salary for Hernando County teachers to a minimum of $46,120.
On June 24, 2020, the Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 641 which provided $500 million for public schools. The bill includes provisions for “teacher salary increase allocation; prohibiting a school district or charter school from reducing the base minimum salary.” Within the pay raise bill, the minimum salary goal for teachers is $47,500.
The new Hernando Schools base salary applies to full-time classroom teachers, certified pre-kindergarten teachers funded in the Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP), and other instructional personnel, but does not include substitute teachers. Veteran teachers earning over $45,186.54 will receive a 2% raise.
The new salary rollout currently in progress comes with the following costs: approximate cost of the teacher salary increase is $3,767,747.00 from TSIA (Teacher Salary Increase Allocation) Funds, $486,826.11 from general funds and $178,654.59 from special revenue funds, for a total approximate cost of $4,433,227.70. Each amount includes taxes, retirement and Worker’s Compensation benefits.
Other non-classroom instructional personnel will be funded by the school district and special revenue funds:
• Full-time non-classroom instructional personnel with a base salary under $46,120.00 will move to a new base salary of $46,120.00. (Total Cost $236,071. 74+ fringes= $281,987.69)
• All full-time Non-Classroom instructional personnel with a current base salary above $45,186.54 will receive a 2% increase to their base salary using district general funds. (Total Cost $124,858.07 + fringes= $149,142.97)
• Special revenue funds will be used to increase the base salary of non-FEFP funded pre-k teachers and all other non-FEFP funded positions – i.e. Title I, IDEA, Medicaid, etc. to $46,120.00 or 2% adjustment. (Special Revenue Total Cost $149,564.33 + fringes= $178,654.59)
Additional funding for teacher salaries will come from the newly implemented 1-mill ad-valorem tax increase which was passed by voters on November 3, 2020. A primary reason for the referendum was to increase the salary for experienced teachers in order to keep them in Hernando County according to retired Hernando County principal Sue Stoops.
Superintendent Stratton explained how the 1 mill tax increase would be distributed, “100% of the money raised will stay here locally in Hernando County Schools and be used in our school system. 50% of the money received will go toward competitive salaries and a few additional positions that serve students. 25% will go towards safer schools and more student services such as mental health services.”