JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The statement was followed by reluctant applause.
"The best way we can build on this progress is to reward our hard-working teachers with a $2,500 pay raise,” Governor Rick Scott told state legislators Tuesday.
Since that State of the State speech, the controversy has continued.
"I think $2,500 is good, but it's not great,” said Sen. Audrey Gibson (D-Jacksonville).
Other major lawmakers, like Senate President Don Gaetz, question Scott’s across-the-board approach and instead would prefer the raise be based on their performance.
So what do the education grassroots groups think?
Action News went straight to Colleen Wood, the founder of 50th No More, to find out her take on the debate.
"What I'd ask the Senate President is who else has he talked to outside of his circle,” said Wood. “This pay raise has nothing to do with performance pay. They're two very different things."
Wood points out that Florida teachers are some of the lowest paid in the country. So naturally she thinks they deserve a raise. But she warns it’s a bit more complicated than Gov. Scott is making it out to be.
"It sounds great to say that you want to give teachers a pay raise, but are you going to follow through? The biggest concern is, is this a one year deal? Next year what happens? Will that money still be there,” Wood questioned.
She fears school districts may be forced to cut other things to support it.
"We tell our children you're judged by your actions. You can say all the right things and if you don't do it, it doesn't matter,” said Wood.
Scott’s proposed pay raise for teachers must be approved by the state legislature this session for it to happen. The plan is expected to cost the state $480 million.