Pinellas County schools, a school district in southeastern Florida, are taking the tough approach to raising the state’s minimum wage by increasing the hourly minimum wage to $15 an hour.
The increase, scheduled to take effect in the summer, will increase the average hourly wage in Pinellans schools by about 2.5 percent, which will take effect on July 1, according to a statement from the Pinellascounty Schools District.
The average hourly pay for all Pinellassas County school employees, including the teachers, will be $15.75 by July 1.
That is the same as the $14.25 wage in the state average.
The wage increase is expected to help pay for a $1.5 million salary increase for all teachers.
“I know many families will be making tough decisions as they consider whether or not to hire or raise their children, but this is a critical step for our schools,” Pinellasse Schools Superintendent Mike Neely said in the statement.
“We are working hard to ensure that every student has the resources they need to achieve their educational goals.”
The school district has a long history of supporting families.
Last year, the district passed a law mandating that employees make at least $15 per hour by July of 2019.
The district also had a new statewide hiring plan that was signed into law in 2017.
In 2017, the Pinella County Schools District also increased its minimum wage for new hires to $10 an hour from $7.25 an hour and for those hired after June of 2019 to $11.50 an hour, as well as raising its hourly wage for teachers to $14 an hour by 2020.
Pinellacounty Schools also recently passed a hiring plan to increase the pay of all new teachers to the statewide average of $9.10 an hourly wage.
The Pinellabears minimum wage is scheduled to increase by 1.5% each year through 2025, according a statement released by the school district.
The county has increased its statewide minimum wage every year since the last increase in 2018.
The state’s average hourly earnings have remained relatively flat for the past several years, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which tracks the compensation of federal, state and local workers.
Last month, the average weekly earnings of Florida workers were $8,974, according data from the Bureau.