Florida’s average teacher pay currently ranked 47th in the nation in 2019
Providing a quality education to all of Florida’s students is a core constitutional responsibility of our state government and critical to economic growth. Adequate state funding for education provides the foundation for students to compete in an ever-changing economy, and it helps to attract highly qualified teachers and maintain the equity and fairness of Florida’s education system.
In the wake of the Great Recession, many states cut education funding dramatically after state and local revenue plummeted. While many states rebounded in the years that followed, Florida’s investment per-pupil was cut to 22.7 percent beneath pre-recession levels, after adjusting for inflation. Now, as Florida and the nation battle a pandemic, state revenues have plummeted and once again education budgets are threatened with looming drastic cuts. State and local combined funds for Florida’s primary and secondary (PreK-12) education dropped $2,767 per pupil from 2008 to 2016, inflation adjusted. Additionally, the Base Student Allocation for K-12 Public Schools in Florida fell after the Great Recession and still has not rebounded (see below). This funding shortage has significantly suppressed teacher salaries — Florida’s average teacher pay currently ranked 47th in the nation in 2019. Florida cut teacher pay more than any other state from 2009 to 2018.
Adequate state funding for education is key to prepare students to compete in an ever-changing economy, provide competitive teacher salaries to attract highly qualified candidates and maintain the overall equity and fairness of Florida’s education system. FPI promotes funding public schools to at least pre-Great Recession levels.