Teachers to get debit cards to buy supplies - FOX 13 News

Teachers to get debit cards to buy supplies

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Governor Rick Scott came into office attacking teacher tenure, their pension system, and demanding merit-based pay. But now, teachers may be seeing a different Scott.

It's no secret teachers spend their own money to get the supplies their students need. Ask any educator at Hillsborough County's teacher orientation.

"I think teachers would be surprised at how much they spend. As you go through the year, you don't realize how much it adds up," said History Teacher Justin Bartlett.

Bartlett did add it up, and last year, he spent about $300 out of his own pocket. That could change. Governor Scott unveiled the design of a debit card to help teachers pay for school supplies.

It seems the Governor is extending an olive branch to teachers, after a contentious relationship in the past.

This year, Scott pushed for teacher pay raises. Now, money for supplies. It's an average of $250 per teacher. Is it enough to win them over?

"I do think raising the incentive money in the beginning of the year is a step in the right direction, but I think for most teachers, he's going to have to do a little bit more to win their votes back," said Teacher Coach Leisha Collins.

"I'm happy that he has good intentions of raising the pay. And I hope it's something that is not temporary," said television production teacher Ashley Morrow.

The governor's election is in 15 months. Because of that, teachers can't help but wonder whether his turnaround is good will or good politics.

"The next election is coming up, so he wants to try and build that relationship with teachers again, which is understandable," said Bartlett. "Is it enough as far as pay? Teachers are always going to say we can use more, but it's definitely a start."

Hillsborough schools say they're still waiting to find out how much each teacher will get. But the governor says the average is $250.

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