BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — Brevard County Public Schools just found an extra $1.5 million in miscalculated savings, and teachers want a piece of the pie — they’ve been facing financial hardships for quite some time.
- Brevard Public Schools has extra $1.5M in miscalculated savings
- Teachers want some of the funds to help make salaries more competitive
- Teacher federation: about 850 teachers left Brevard within past 3 years
Satellite Beach High School Teacher Joe Scott says he's been teaching for 28 years, and that wages in Brevard County are not competitive enough to get teachers to stay.
But according to Brevard Public Schools Superintendent Mark Mullins, "The $1.5 million surfaced as part of an internal review of our calculation for retiree attrition, which showed we did not captured the total number of employees. We refined our calculation and then had an outside party (Carr, Riggs and Ingram) validate our findings."
So what’s being done with the money found?
“It would have to be distributed across all employee groups and of course, everything has to be done and negotiated in the sunshine,” Mullins said.
The Brevard Federation of Teachers created a new committee with teachers from different pay scales to talk to the superintendent about wage compression.
Vanessa Skipper, who is a part of BFT, says the committee was created to end the lack of differences in pay between long-time teachers and new hires, because sometimes a veteran teacher only makes a few thousand more than a new employee, according to Skipper.
Mullins said the money will be part of the negotiation for the upcoming budget. Though the school board is also looking for ways to get more funds to make Brevard County’s teacher salary competitive.
“(We’re) looking at all possible options, money saving within the district, whether it’s programs or the way we do our business,” he explained.
Teacher Joe Scott says he has a solution — involving the community to give their input and have the option to help fund education.
“If the public at large asked for tax increases, I think they will agree,” Scott said.
According to the federation, about 850 teachers left the district within the past three years.
This is not a teacher committee, it is a work group made up of representatives from both the district and the union, along with some teachers. Their first meeting was held on Wed. Aug. 7, and did not include the superintendent.