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Florida among latest to propose teacher pay increase to offset shortage

October 09, 2019 / Shawna De La Rosa

In an effort to battle teacher shortages, some states are considering plans to bump up teacher pay, District Administration reports. Florida is among the latest, with Gov. Ron DeSantis proposing the use of $600 million to increase minimum starting pay from $37,636 to $47,500. Teacher shortages are a problem nationwide, with an Indiana superintendent survey, for example, finding 92% of districts in the state are experiencing a shortage this year. Connecticut, Alabama and Ohio are also struggling with the issue. Many, including DeSantis, blame the shortage on a strong economy in which wages for other professions are increasing, but challenging school environments, weak professional development and lack of support also contribute to the growing problem. Proposed solutions include giving teachers the opportunity to innovate and become entrepreneurs in their field. While low pay is often blamed for the shortage, its solution doesn't have to be limited to improving paychecks. Districts l...