Governor Rick Scott continued what he is calling a "victory tour" for his desire to give teachers raises next fiscal year. He visited Ocoee Middle School for the third time in a year, pausing to honor teacher appreciation week
"We've got great teachers in our state and we should be very thankful," he said.
The governor was here to take credit for the Florida Legislature passing $480 million in pay increases for teachers, but he did not get the across the board raises he was looking for. Instead, lawmakers tied those raises to performance. Only teachers that perform at a certain standard can get those increases -- between $2,500 and $3,500.
"Right now, every teacher has the opportunity for a pay raise. It's going to be done with the superintendents, with the school board, working with every district."
The rest will not be up to the governor. Each individual school district will have to pass the increases as part of collective bargaining with their teachers unions. In Orange County, Teachers Classroom Association president Diana Moore is concerned about making sure those raises come to fruition.
"If you fund what you value, we'll see when we sit across the table on Friday. Fund what you value, that's what we are asking."
Superintendent Barbara Jenkins told the crowd at Ocoee Middle she is committed to getting teachers their raises. Still, the teachers union did hold a rally outside the School Board Headquarters to make sure the message was getting through.