After reading the articles about teachers who cannot afford housing in Miami-Dade, I wanted our community to understand it is far worse than that for Miami-Dade County Public School (MDCPS) teachers.
Not only are our salaries among the lowest in the country and cost of living here among the highest, teachers like myself who remained on the step system have not received any increases that were part of our contract for more than 8 years. My salary has not exceeded $48,000 (with a Masters Degree) after 21 years of teaching.
Somehow, the district eliminated the step system. Though there are lawsuits pending to try to get our steps back, it is a monumental battle against politicians and policies made by our school board.
Why do I say low salaries are not the worst of it? Teachers earn a pension after 30 years of service, 48 percent of their highest 5 years of earnings. Statements made by MDCPS that Performance Pay and Best and Brightest awards boost salaries…are false; they are bonuses which don’t count toward our salary calculation for retirement.
So, we can’t afford to live here and can’t afford to retire. Why would anyone teach in MDCPS?
Julie Rich, Palmetto Bay