Graduate degrees and teacher salary supplements: Do the new rules need a tweak?

The bill on teachers’ salaries and employment rules passed by the Florida Legislature and signed into law by Governor Scott in 2011, SB 736, included a section ending the practice of awarding salary increases based on graduate degrees.  Instead, a teacher is now allowed to earn a “salary supplement” for a year if she or he holds a graduate degree in the field she (or he) is teaching.  The new language ended the practice of awarding salary raises for teachers holding graduate degrees in fields like educational leadership (typically held by those intending to go into administration) or “curriculum and instruction”.

This morning’s Florida Today shared a somewhat different story.  Before arriving at Palm Bay High School in Brevard County to teach math, Scott Johnson earned a master’s degree in Space Sciences in the Department of Physics and Space Sciences at the Florida Institute of Technology.  But space science is not math, so Scott Johnson did not receive the salary supplement.

Should he have?

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