VIERA, Fla. - UPDATE: The Brevard County School board voted Monday 4-1 to support Superintendent Mark Mullins' plan for teacher raises based on teacher performance, News 6 partner Florida Today reports.
The Brevard County school board is set to vote at 9 a.m. Monday on whether to accept or reject a proposal to raise teacher salaries that has been endorsed by a special magistrate.
At around 8 a.m. that morning, a group of students, teachers and parents will gather before the school board building in Viera to show their support for that proposal which has long been backed by the Brevard Federation of Teachers but was rejected by Superintendent Mark Mullins, according to News 6 partner Florida Today. Last week Mullins unveiled a new proposal that was rejected by BFT and would likely be presented as an alternative for the school board to consider.
Here's what you need to know:
What is the board voting on?
The board is voting on a proposal to raise pay by $2,300 and $1,725 for 'highly effective' and 'effective' teachers respectively. The proposal also includes a supplement for exceptional student education.
This proposal was endorsed by an impartial state-appointed special magistrate on May 17 following an impasse between the union and the school district that has dragged on since December.
The magistrate's assessment of the district's finances is that these pay raises could comfortably be paid for.
Why has the proposal come to a school board vote?
After the proposal was endorsed by the magistrate, Brevard School District Superintendent Mark Mullins rejected the magistrate's recommendation. This forced the proposal to go to a school board vote.
Mullins maintains that the district cannot afford to pay for such raises.
Why are people demonstrating?
Brevard teachers are among the lowest paid in the state, despite the school district performing relatively well in education achievement.
As a result of the low pay for teachers, Brevard schools have fallen victim to a 'silent strike', by which teachers have left the county at high rates. This retention crisis has meant that over 600 teachers have left the county in just three years.
The BFT is not optimistic that the school board with vote favorably on the proposal.
The BFT is also concerned that a strongly rebuked last-minute proposal unveiled by Mullins's office as a seeming attempt at compromise may sway the board to reject the magistrate's plan.
What is Mullins proposing as an alternative?
Mullins's offer includes raises of $1,100 and $825 for "highly effective" and "effective" teachers respectively, with a $650 one-time bonus added plus a $500 bonuses for all first-year returning teachers.
Mullin's plan matches the supplement requested for exceptional student education.
The rollout of Mullins's new offer last week in a snap-press conference drew criticism from BFT that he is trying to unfairly influence the special magistrate process and the school board vote.
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