Only 19 of 1,349 Okaloosa County teachers who voted Aug. 27 were against a school district plan that provides everyone a 2.5 percent pay increase. The school district will spend about $6.2 million, including the $4.6 million from the state, on raises this year.
Teachers and school administrators all received the raise after Gov. Rick Scott allocated money to districts to reward high-performing teachers and school administers. Scott’s intent was for districts to give teachers $2,500 and $3,500 pay increases based on their performance reviews. However, that was impossible in Okaloosa County because of the high number of effective teachers, officials said, so they made it an across-the-board raise.
Okaloosa received about $5.2 million from the state for the raises. Once all the necessary deductions are considered, such as for charter schools and retirement contributions, it was only about $4.6 million.
This is the first time in four years that all district teachers are on the same pay scale. Previously, teachers with less than three years’ experience over the last five years were paid less than those who had more than three.