Please spend 30 seconds taking this anonymous survey about Teacher Experience and Base Salary if you currently work for Miami Dade County Public Schools and share it widely on social media. Click the link to take the survey.!3543&authkey=!AGB8cDu38dOlfH0

I am trying to compile some data regarding teacher experience and base pay for Miami Dade County teachers in an effort to gain some understanding of how much Miami Dade County Public Schools is saving not paying you what you are worth and what you should have been making at this point in your careers. If you are retiring this year or in the next few years, that would also help me have some idea of how much money the district will be saving as the top earners retire and are replaced by teachers making $31,000 less. Try to help disseminate this survey to other underpaid colleagues and if you haven’t already faxed in your speaker form for the May 24th School Board meeting, please do so ASAP as negotiations are ongoing You are not obligated to speak by faxing in the form. It is just sending the Board a message that your are not happy about teacher salaries.

In other news, in UTD Bargaining Update #4, Mats continues her English muffin negotiating strategy:

“President Hernandez-Mats went on to state that the union and M-DCPS management would have to get creative to find what is necessary to honor teachers. She stated that we would need to continue to look in every nook and cranny to find what we need. She also called upon our community to let our Governor know that the budget is insufficient to fund our schools properly. Management has asked UTD to seek the places where funding could be maximized as it has done in the past to fund a collective bargaining reserve.”

Actually, it’s probably a better idea if the six figure earning full time Union President went digging in the nooks and crannies herself finding possible sources of funding rather than pleading for the district to do it. I managed to find hundreds of millions of dollars worth of nooks and crannies that could be used for teacher salaries after a ten minute Google search.

In nook number 1, I found an interestingly large decline in the number of teachers employed by Miami Dade County Public Schools over the last ten years despite seeing a slight increase in student enrollment. You can see the numbers for yourself here

In 2006, Miami Dade County Public Schools employed 22,000 teachers and in 2015-16 it employed only 18,500 teachers with an average salary of only $55,600. The decrease in the teacher force by 3,486 teachers with an average compensation of $55,600 amounts to a savings of $194 million on teacher salaries alone!

In nook #2 on the same site, it shows that only 33% of the budget comes from the state and 55% of the budget comes from local revenue. So constantly blaming Tallahassee for your lack of a raise when only 33% of the budget is based on funding from Tallahassee is not a great excuse.

That might lead one to ask, “How have local revenue sources been performing in the last few years?” Answer: they’ve been freakin’ fantastic and they are only expected to get better by the double digit millions for the next three years thanks to the real estate boom!

Look what I found in this cranny on p.168 of the district’s financial report, There is a projected $61 million increase in property tax collection for the 2017-18 school year. Geez, I think we could find some money for a decent raise in there!

Even without the decline in the teacher workforce and an increase in property tax collection, the district is saving millions from its current veteran teachers by denying them their steps. In 2014 there were over 4000 teachers earning top pay. We know at least 500 teachers retired in 2015 and there was a massive increase in teachers entering DROP in 2011 because of legislative changes and they would have been forced out in 2016 according to this Miami Herald article So a very conservative estimate of 1000 fewer teachers making top pay of $72000 being replaced by teachers making $40,800 would be a net savings of approximately $31 million. That’s without taking into account the thousands of teachers that should be earning $72,000 and are only making $59,000. A twenty-five year veteran at my school is in DROP and only making $59,000, $13,000 less a year than a 27 year veteran! There are thousands of teachers like him in Dade County. That’s why I need you dear teachers to please take 30 seconds to fill out the anonymous survey!3543&authkey=!AGB8cDu38dOlfH0 and share this survey widely through social media and email so we can get an accurate number to take to the School Board on May 24th. And don’t forget to fax the form!