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Monday, October 9, 2017

Will veteran teachers be allowed back on the grandfather pay scale?

Duval County has two pay scales for its teachers.

One for teachers hired after 2010, who are on annual contracts and veteran teachers who opted to join it that gives teachers raises of up to 2001 dollar if their evaluations are highly effective. The veteran teachers however had to give up their professional services contract, and go on annual contracts to join it.

The other for veteran teachers gives more modest step raises but they are allowed to keep their professional contracts, which they can renew every five years and can continue to do so as long as they are considered effective. This is called the grandfather pay scale.

I stayed on the grandfather pay scale (hey no jokes about my ever whitening hair) which means
while first and second year teachers were being given 1000 and 2000 dollar raises over the last few years while I received a 750 dollar step raise. The other difference is I am on a five year renewable contract while they are on a one year contract.

I voted against the new contract, I thought it was great for new teachers and veterans who switched to the new pay scale but a bad one for veterans who stayed on the grandfather scale. Scott Shine even chided me for saying I was against it.

As the old contract is coming to an end and a new contract where the district wants to greatly reduce raises, 2000, and one thousand dollar raises having proved unsustainable, I wonder how many people would have voted against the last contract knowing what we know now and if veteran teachers would have switched, giving u their professional contracts. 

Three years ago, the board with a few questions here and there from Couch and Wright was pretty much rubber stamping anything Vitti brought to them and Vitti made a lot of promises including about being committed to increasing teacher pay.  Now he may have been sincere because Florida has recovered nicely from the economic down turn and has more money for public education, unfortunately they have decided to give it to charter schools, vouchers or just not invest in education. When inflation is factored we are spending at a lower level than before the recession, but we could and should be doing more and maybe Vitti thought we would be. The thing is if you follow public ed in Florida you should have been able to see this coming as the legislature routinely does all it can to kneecap public ed.

This is what I think should happen. If veteran teachers switched from the grandfather pay scale to the optional pay scale because of the promises of higher step raises, if the district greatly reduces those raises which is the proposal now, they should be allowed to get their professional contracts back and yes I know the state won't go for that but the district should do what is right and make arrangements for them anyway.

I think most of us get it. The state sucks when it comes to public education, its run by a bunch of bastard coated bastards with bastard fillings, and sadly past administrations thought they had to follow suit. It doesn't however have to be that way.

I feel like we have a new board and new leadership, one that isn't just interested in hobnobbing with the city's so called elites and making splashy shows that rarely pan out, one that is more interested in doing the right thing. I wish we had more money as I am sure they do too, but as usual the state is letting them and all of us down and since that is the case I hope they settle for at least doing the right thing.


  1. As I remember, the Board has no power to do so, nor can the state department approve it. The law specifies that once a teacher gives up a PSC, he/she is on a performance contract forever.

  2. This is exactly why I opted to stay on the grandfather scale. I did not believe that the state truly meant to reward highly effective teachers. I believe that the metric is flawed to begin with. Even after a teacher qualifies for performance pay, there is no guarantee that the money will be there to reward them. It's funny how wages are described by our leaders in Tallahassee as 'rewards' as if we are trained seals earning a treat. And, to really rub salt in the wound, opting to switch to performance pay would have meant surrendering my continuing contract. The last time I was called to sign my annual contract was in 2005 and there was no turning back for me. Would I have had the same academic freedom all of these years in writing for local media if I were an at-will employee? I highly doubt it. I fear for the future of activism in public education as the new teachers have enough to worry about being reappointed every year. We need to vote in 2018 to take back Tallahassee for public education. We have not had a friendly governor since the late Governor Lawton Chiles.

  3. And this is why my husband has taught for 12 years and still doesn't make $40k! Using fear to keep pay down! Isn't that the opposite of how a trained seal act should work?!