Florida's Career Ladder Plan for Teachers

Local teachers and school leaders want to know who is picking up the tab. The salary plan is called the Salary Career Ladder Program. It divides teachers and salaries up into four categories, the highest paid being mentor and lead teachers, but some educators are left out of the mix altogether.

School districts across the Sunshine State, including Leon County, are putting into place the "best" teaching salary career ladder program.

A pay plan, teacher David Worrell will probably never climb.

"For teachers who art teachers, physical education, guidance counselor will not benefit all left out of the loop," says David Worrell, president of Leon Classroom Teachers Association.

David is an art teacher of nearly 30 years, yet under the Career Ladder, money from the Legislature is earmarked for teachers who deal with FCAT subjects.

"The district can include those people but have to use their own funds can't apply for career ladder funds," says Paul Burdette of the Florida Education Association.

But right now the Career Ladder is an unfunded mandate agreed upon during last year's legislative session, leaving local districts to come up with the cash.

"Concern because it will cost $7 million and if it will be funded and what will be left over for other teachers. Very concerned won't be enough to give all teachers a raise," says Bill Montford, Leon County Schools Superintendent.

A sentiment shared by teachers across the county, along with fears of pulling double duty without extra pay and topping out on the salary scale.

School districts must have their plans for implementing the career ladder to the Department of Education by March 1, ready to put into action next school year.

School officials are still working out the details, but it looks like each school will have 1 to 2 lead teachers and one mentor per lead teacher so a select group of people will sit at the top of this ladder.