Q&A of the Day – How many days per year do Florida’s teachers work? 

Q&A of the Day – How many days per year do Florida’s teachers work? 

Each day I’ll feature a listener question that’s been submitted by one of these methods. 

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

Twitter: @brianmuddradio

Facebook: Brian Mudd https://www.facebook.com/brian.mudd1

Today’s entry: Please always state that teacher pay is for NINE MONTHS work a year. NINE MONTHS. They have the ability to make much more money a year and many do. I’m sick of teachers acting like they’re underpaid and over worked it’s BS! Keep up the good work.

Bottom Line: Friday’s Q&A regarding the truth about Florida teacher pay, as we get ready for the issue to be front and center in the state session that begins this week, brought a lot of feedback along with it...if you missed the story – I strongly encourage you to check it outline. It’s the most comprehensive analysis to date. For the purpose of addressing this follow up question in today’s Q&A – here's a summation of a few of the key points: 

  • The average teacher earns about $5,000 more than the average full time employed Floridian
  • Salaries for teachers have risen 17% over the past decade in Florida compared to 13% for all Floridians
  • Governor DeSantis has proposed a 26% average increase for starting teacher pay and the FEA stated it was only a starting point. 

This information tells a story that should be discussed in conjunction with any teacher pay package that’s approved. In my view, all public sector employees should see their wages rise at a rate that reflects the citizens who pay for their salaries. The notion of Florida teachers being underpaid with raises that are lacking, is a demonstrably false narrative based on a false premise, at least if you compare teacher pay to those who they’re serving in public education. Now to address the comparison of time worked by Florida’s teachers.

Florida averages 180 instructional days per year. There are variances based on school district but they’re generally small. Teachers work an extra of five days beyond the instructional calendar. The extra days are generally teacher workdays, time for continuing education, etc. So, how does that compare? The average fulltime employed person works 245 days, or 60 more than the average teacher, annually. It doesn’t quite work out to nine months, or 25% less work than the average non-teacher, but it’s close at 23% less time spent working. This does amount to an extra twelve weeks of work for the average Floridian compared to the average teacher further illustrating the disconnect. 

I’m not sure what will happen in the state session regarding teacher pay, but I do hope facts enter the equation. Too often the only arguments discussed are how much teachers in other states make. To be clear, there are no shortage of other states that are much more poorly run, have prioritized public sector interests over its citizens, have much higher taxes and worse economies. I’m sure most Floridians wouldn’t want the tradeoff. As I stated on Friday, the information I’m sharing isn’t anti-teacher or education and it’s not designed to be. It's information I’ve not found to be presented to you for an objective view of an issue we’re all impacted by that will take center stage this week.

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