TAMPA, Fla. — Teachers and support staff in Hillsborough County are poised to get a pay raise after final approval from the school board.

A special meeting of the Hillsborough County School Board was held Thursday where board members voted on and approved the proposed contracts.

What You Need To Know

  • Teacher pay would start at $47,500 and cap out at $72,490 

  • Teachers would advance a year or "step"

  • Teachers who had raises that previously capped out at 23 years now have to 25 years 

It was the quickest settlement reached in the last few years. In the 2022-2023 school year, a contract agreement was not reached until May and in previous years, negotiations lasted past the holiday break.

The roughly $45 million package includes just over $40 million in recurring expenses, going mostly towards teacher salary increases. Another roughly $5 million is for one-time payments.

The proposed salary agreement lists first-year teachers at $47,500 and caps out at $72,490 after 25 years. Previously, teachers capped out at $68,000 after 23 years.

The agreement also states teachers will advance a year or progress on the so-called step system. In the last two years, the district pushed to offer pay supplements instead of the traditional step progression in hopes of keeping the operating budget down.


The proposed salary agreement also decompresses the salaries for teachers in year 1-7.


“It’s a hard time for Hillsborough County and we’re never going to be able to pay teachers what they deserve,” said Nadia Combs, school board chairperson. “But one of the things we’re trying to do is decompress those salaries. People don’t realize for the first six years in Hillsborough County you don’t even get a dollar raise, so we want to change that.”

Rob Kriete, president of the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association, said in a statement he was pleased with the progress made.

“We are happy to get some much needed increases for our hard-working employees while recognizing that we need to do more to keep and recruit the great teachers and support professionals that our students deserve,” he wrote. “We thank the Hillsborough County School Board and Superintendent Ayers for their support and collaboration in getting this agreement ratified.”

In an October meeting, school board members considered sending a referendum to the November ballot that would raise property taxes in support of teacher pay. They ultimately decided to hold off until 2024.

Combs says her priority is to make sure money isn’t being wasted and is invested directly into teachers and students.

“One of the things that I think is probably the most critical is that we right size this district,” she said. “We have to make sure that schools that are small, that we can’t keep small schools open because of the cost effectiveness. We have to be financially very, very conservative and making sure we’re not top heavy. Making sure the resources that are the most important are at a school-based level.”