MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – Florida teachers are seeing an increase in pay following landmark legislation, but what does the future look like for Alabama educators? To answer this question, we took a look at teacher salaries by school district, as well as state lawmakers’ plans for the future.

Florida Gov. Ron Desantis signed the bill Tuesday morning to increase the budget for teachers’ pay by more than $1 billion. This is an increase of $252 million from last year. Florida has allocated $3.3 billion over the last five years for teacher pay increases and bonuses. 

“We are investing over $1 billion in teacher raises and also increasing per student funding to an unprecedented level as we work to provide Florida parents with a transformational opportunity to direct funding for their children’s education,” Florida Senate President Kathleen Passidomo said.

In comparison, Alabama’s last educator salary increase was in August of last year which resulted in teacher’s getting a salary increase anywhere from $1,668 to $15,217 depending on their degree and experience. 

In Mobile County, new teachers with a bachelor’s degree have a starting salary of $46,836. To compare, teachers in Escambia County, Fla., started out at $45,700 before the pay increase.

Though Alabama hasn’t increased teacher pay in almost a year, Gov. Kay Ivey is proposing a change. In her State of the State Address in March of this year Ivey proposed a 2% increase in all teacher salaries bringing the state’s education budget to $8.8 billion.

“My goal is to have the starting salary for all Alabama teachers to be the highest in the Southeast by the end of my term,” Ivey said in the address. “I want Alabama to be aggressively working to recruit, retain and prepare the teacher of tomorrow”

Alabama currently falls behind several states in the region for starting pay. Florida has the highest starting pay at more than $47,000 while Alabama teachers start out at $43,358. With the proposed 2% increase, that number would rise to $44,225.