JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Duval County voters approved a property tax increase that will help teachers pay in the county raise their pay.
Action News Jax spoke with Chris Guerrieri, who believes it’s a great first step in helping retain teachers, but he believes more has to be done.
“I think it’s a great thing and long overdue,” says Guerrieri.
A new $1 million property tax will cost homeowners in the county an extra $100 per year for every $100,000 of assessed value on their house.
School district administrators say teachers’ pay will go up by at least $5,000.
Guerrieri has been teaching in DCPS schools for 22 years.
He insists it’s a certain group of teachers that this pay increase will help.
“This is going to be really good for that 8th through 16th, 17th-year teachers. It’s going to make what they are getting fair compared to what first- and second-year teachers are making,” says Guerrieri.
Guerrier says these dollars aren’t going to address the workload concerns that teachers face on a daily basis.
Action News Jax had an opportunity to speak with Duval County School Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene after the vote Tuesday night.
She says her administration expected a very close vote.
Greene maintains this money can help retain veteran teachers and recruit new teachers in the future.
“This will give us the opportunity to show our teachers that we want you in Duval County and that we want you on team Duval,” says Greene.
Gail Kight, a Duval County resident, says she is all for increasing teacher pay. She just wishes it could have been done another way.
“They keep going up on this and that and I don’t see where the money going. Neighborhoods still broke down, people need stuff,” says Kight.
Action News Jax did reach out to Duval County Property Appraiser Jerry Holland. He tells us that right now, he’s not sure if Tuesday’s vote will cause property taxes to increase this year or next.
The Duval County school board chair also told me off camera, that right now they don’t know exactly when teachers can expect to see their pay increase.
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