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The Florida Senate

Senator Berman, District 26 — Press Release


January 24, 2023

CONTACT: Abby Ross, 850.487.5026,
Angel Buchannon, 850.717.5088

State Senator Lori Berman and State Representative Jervonte “Tae” Edmonds File “Save Our Teachers Act” to Address Florida’s Teacher Shortage

Tallahassee —

Senator Lori Berman (D-Boca Raton) and State Representative Jervonte "Tae" Edmonds (D-West Palm Beach) filed SB 342 and HB 271 to increase starting teacher salaries to $65,000. This figure would put Florida’s teachers on par with the national average, which is $65,090 according to the National Education Association.

SB 342 and HB 271 would help recruit and retain teachers, especially since there is a major shortage plaguing our schools. According to the Florida Education Association, roughly 5,300 positions throughout Florida are unfilled, more than double the number from two years ago, leaving Florida with a dire situation.

The rising costs of living, from housing to food, has only exacerbated the issue of teacher underpayment. Utilizing substitute teachers or other instructional staff is not a viable alternative as it may have a detrimental impact on students who do not have a regular, full-time teacher in the classroom. Additionally, veteran teachers are being shortchanged despite their continued dedication and service to our children, often resulting in their early retirement.

“We believe that if we increase the starting salary for teachers in Florida, we will be able to attract and retain more qualified and experienced teachers,” said Representative Edmonds. “This will ensure that our students receive the best education possible.”

“We are committed to making sure that our teachers are paid a fair wage for the important work that they do,” said Senator Berman. “With this legislation, Florida will attract the top notch teachers our students deserve and we will address the teacher shortage head on.”

The bill, if passed, would take effect for the 2023-2024 school year.