Polk County teachers receive pay raises after school district reaches agreement with union

The average Polk County teacher is paid well below Florida’s average.

10 Tampa Bay | May 12, 2021

POLK COUNTY, Fla. — Teachers in Polk County can expect to see larger paychecks after the school district said it reached an agreement with the county’s teachers union to raise salaries.

In a post on social media, Polk County Public Schools said the raise would bump starting salaries up to $45,172, a $4,200 increase. They said the lowest raise would amount to $1,200–instead of $650.

“We are finalizing a memorandum of understanding with the PEA, which will cover these teacher raises,” said Teddra Porteous, Polk County Public Schools’ associate superintendent of Human Resources Services. “We greatly appreciate the union’s cooperation, so we can get these dollars to our educators as fast as possible.”

According to data compiled by the National Education Association, Florida ranks 49 in the nation for average teacher salaries. Florida’s average public school teacher salary for the 2019-20 school year was $49,102, more than $12,000 below the national average of $64,133.

In Polk County, the average teacher is paid $45,284–well below the state’s average.

Once an agreement is finalized, the school district says the raises will be reflected in this month’s paychecks and will be retroactive to July 1, 2020.

Image: WTSP

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