SARASOTA- People planning to become teachers next year could be looking at a significant increase in their starting salary if the Governor’s budget requests pass.

 “What we’re going to be doing in my budget recommendations this year,” DeSantis said. “Is we’re going to be asking the legislature to increase the minimum starting salaries for teachers in this state to $47,500.”

“I think that is a great conversation,” Pat Gardner said. “Great starting point, I’m very happy that somebody is having a conversation about school teachers and how much money they make.”

Currently starting salary in Sarasota County is $44,300, so this would be a significant raise. President of the Sarasota Classified Teachers Association Pat Gardner says she hopes experienced teachers are being included in the plan too.

“I’m Hoping that the conversation is just starting,” Gardner said. “Because you could have unintended consequences where someone could get hired next year and $47,500 and actually make more money than the teacher next door was hired this year.”

Gardner says increases across the board could help retain teachers leaving the state.

“Our students and classes deserve so much better,” Gardner said. “And I wish parents would really realize what problems they have if they don’t do something now, and demand something be done now.”

The plan is estimated to cost the state about $600 million dollars.

“Florida has not been funding education like they should have all these years,” Gardener said. “And now they’re finding themselves in an area where it’s going to cost more to make it up.”

Gardner says this plan is a step in the right direction.

“I’m so happy that our governor is talking about it,” Gardner said. “Because I haven’t seen this in quite a while.”

Gardner says the new plan should not affect the current ongoing union negotiations with the district.