Gov. Scott visits Piper High School

Published On: May 06 2013 01:16:24 PM EDT
Updated On: May 07 2013 08:26:04 AM EDT

Governor Rick Scott was welcomed back to Piper High School for the second time in just a few weeks.

A room full of enthusiastic students were there excited to celebrate their achievements, as well as those of their teachers.

"Florida teachers earned the top score in the United States two years in a row for teacher quality. Congratulations to our teachers," said Scott.

In one year, Piper High improved their school's grade from a C to an A, an accomplishment these students attribute to their educators.

"First and foremost, I think it's a lot of our teachers with a lot of our test scores going up in the past year," said senior Ashley Kim.

Classroom leaders not only at Piper High, but across the state, will now be rewarded for their hard work. The legislature approved $480 million for pay raises, which Governor Scott says will allow every school district to give their teachers a pay increase.

"All of our teachers are going to have the opportunity for a pay raise. It's the right thing for our teachers. It's a great day for our teachers. It's a big victory for our teachers, but not only that, our students," said Scott.

For students like Blair Hirt, who feel like their teachers are so much more than that, the real reward comes from their success.

"I have a stepdad and Mr. Collins has been like a real dad," said Hirt. "The pay raise is going to be more of a pat on the back for them because they already know how much they influence us. When we walk the stage at graduation, they know they've changed our lives."

Broward County Superintendent Robert Runcie says he is not sure how the pay raise will exactly break down for each individual teacher yet, but an early estimate says their pay will increase by about $2,500.

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