Superintendent Carvalho Throws Crumbs at Teachers

Miami Dade County Public School Teachers' Salary Scale
Miami Dade County Public School Teachers’ Salary Scale

This post is dedicated to my childhood friend, Bernabe Perez. He doesn’t fully understand my gripe with Miami-Dade County Public Schools treatment toward teachers and most importantly toward the students. This post might clear up some misunderstandings.

Today The Miami Herald wrote about a tentative agreement between the school board and the United Teachers of Dade. This new contract wants teachers to accept crumbs.

Everyone knows that teachers teach because they love teaching. No teacher ever thought they would get rich from teaching. That’s ok.

However, there is a difference between not getting rich and living in poverty while the administration and downtown paper pushers not only get the big paychecks but also the kudos for the teachers’ work.

When I became a teacher, I was told my salary would be decided on a step schedule based on the number of years in the system. According to the picture in this post, I should be on step 16( $50,300) but my paycheck reflects that I am on step 11 ($42,148). This is a huge gap.

The schedule was placed as part of the contract between UTD and the Miami-Dade County Public School Board. Yet, this contract has not been honored in five years. Now I am being told that I might go up ONE step. Did you see the picture? That’s not even a whole $300. I’m not asking for millions. I am not asking for more than what the original contract said. No more, no less.

The big slap in the face was when I read that a first year beginning teacher will start at $40,000 that’s less than $2,148 from my 16 years of experience salary.

How can Superintendent Alberto Carvalho and the school board say they care about teachers? How can they say they care about quality education for the students?

Let’s make this clear. If a teacher violates any part of the contract, the teacher can be put on probation or fired. The teacher can’t come up with any excuses for his/her bad behavior. However, the school board gets away with not owning up to their part of the contract.

The school board and NOW our union cry a poor mouth and blame Tallahassee for not giving them enough money to pay for these steps.

That is a bold face lie!

If MDCPS doesn’t have money for salary steps, why bother promoting teachers to administrative positions when that will cost them more money?

Why not close down the under enrolled schools, place those teachers and administrators in other schools which would lower the teacher student ratio and cut down on costs?

Why not use common sense?

There is a reason why they won’t implement these strategies. It’s because the back scratching that goes on behind the scenes is unbelievable.

For example, there is talk that an administrator at Dr. Rolando Espinosa k-8 Center in Doral, Florida will be getting promoted to a downtown position this December. Whether this is gossip or not remains to be seen this school year. The administrator with the alleged promotion is notorious for disrespecting the teachers by treating them as if they are slaves on a plantation. The big guys downtown know what this administrator does but they look the other way because she has a relative in politics. Isn’t that nice?

Another interesting fact for you, according to the ADA if there are special needs students in an inclusion class there must be an ESE teacher with the other teacher. This isn’t happening in numerous schools all over Miami. I don’t think the parents are aware. Who pays the price? The students.

Meanwhile, the school board is saving money by not having those teachers in the classroom as required by law. Sometimes, the school board skirts around the situation by having the ESE teacher there for short periods of time as to make an appearance. But is this beneficial to the student who needs them? I don’t think so.

Is Superintendent Alberto Carvalho waiting for parents to find out and file a class action lawsuit? That would be much more costly than to have placed the ESE teacher.

So you see, the school board can be slick when it wants to be if it benefits them.

Put in laymen’s terms. If you make a contract with anyone, both sides are required to hold up their end of the contract. If the contract is not held up by one of the two parties, there are consequences.

With that said, Miami Dade County Public School Board has not kept their part of the contract. Where are their consequences?

I’d like to hear your educated comments and suggestions.

Teachers, you will be asked to vote for this pitiful contract. Vote no. Stand up for yourself. It’s your career. Be proud. Don’t let them throw crumbs at you.

Tell UTD that one step in the middle of the year is an insult. Make them go back to the bargaining table. Tell them you want what the contract says or you will only work to the contract. Be strong!

They will tell you that if you want the contract then they will have to fire teachers. Go ahead. See if they fire teachers. Call their bluff. Stop living in fear. Be strong!


Here is the link so you can see the salary schedule for yourself.


  • Allison Duncan

    I can add a few more realities of the school system that never makes the news: many teachers who are getting close to retirement and do not teach a core subject are being surplussed. Their classes are dumped into mandatory virtual school which is usually in the media center. Many of these media specialists over the past year and a half and in many cases are put into classes that they are not certified for. The media centers are used only for virtual school while all the books sit on the shelves unused. Books are often assigned in classes and the media centers always had some copies for students who could not purchase them. Teachers have no one to help them select films for their classes and are on the honor system to take and return them. Also, the students who wanted to study during their lunch or just read in a quiet area cannot come into the media center. Remember that there is no class size limit in virtual school so all the computers are in use.
    Many media specialists have retired earlier than planned when told they had to go to a school many miles away and teach a class they have never taught before. Many large high schools also have no trust counselors or a college advisor for the students.
    Paper for the copy machine is rationed out and many teachers have to buy their own paper as well as supplies. When the papers supporting the bond issue were put in my box I,threw them out after the election. Oops sorry, I didn’t have time to check my mailbox before the election.
    All of s knew we would never be wealthy, but we had counted on our salary being met according to the contract. There are two school systems : the one talked about in The Herald and the reality of where we work!

  • Nathasha Alvarez

    Allison, you make several great points. It’s important that more educators EDUCATE our society about the ongoing situation in our school system. Thanks. If you notice, the article has been on facebook over 30 times. It seems many people are too afraid to post here. But that’s ok. I hope that they continue this information with others.

  • Georgina Vail

    Ahh! But you missed Raquel Regalado’s waxing opinion on Jackson Pollock as she was there to receive the Broad Prize.

    Not a teacher, administrator or student – she took the limelight for herself.

    Everything you say is true. But nothing will change. Carvahlo has publicly stated he believes in a base salary (around $40k) and anything else would come from “achievment” (whatever that means).

    By the way, have you ever spoken to Enid Weisman or Tom Arnold (or whatever his name is, the new human exec)? They think teachers are pampered, overpaid, widgets. Just ask them to explain the foul up with IPEGS and you will get a lot of non=speal, nonsense. AND THEY are the ones that make the money.

    • Nathasha Alvarez

      I do my best to miss all of them!
      Everything will change if people do a few things. 1. Leave the union. Those dues give the leaders a six figure income. 2. Attend school board meetings and see the crookedness first hand. It’s important that we each educate ourselves on the truth.
      3. Tell others to get involved and educated. There’s no excuse for ignorance when it comes from teachers. We should know better.

  • James Brochey

    First question? Do you work in ETO schools?

    I ask because that is where the war is being fought. Few people may know this but only full contract teachers have preference over Teach for America recruits. Substitutes with certification and annual contracts and teachers who have been surplussed have to wait in line behind TFA’s finest . FUN FACTS: TFA recruits engage in a rigorous 3 week training program before entering the worst schools in the state. TFA recruits work the inner city schools for 2 years and most bail out for their free advanced degrees paid for by their corporate sponsors, who also have money rooted in charters. (Coincidence?) Under any study, it takes a teacher 3 years to become proficient in the class and TFAs bail at 2.

    So to the point, with all of that said, let us do the math. The school Board wants cheap labor, the Union is the only wall, feeble as they may be, between now and slave labor conditions. A TFA comes in making $40,000 + $1,500 ETO funds ( Because they only teach in low performing schools) and this year $4,600 for the schools with extended days. A “Teacher” with 3 weeks of training, no classroom experience, and no drive to make a career out of teaching, is making $46,100 their first year in the system.

    The trend here is meant to attract these TFA individuals to our low performing schools and drive out contracted, seasoned, teachers. I mean why pay Sally $56K when a TFA will do the same job for way less?

    Meanwhile our schools continue to plummet, charters actively siphon kids from already underpopulated schools, and then once the FTE is secure, they kick out the low performers back to their respective public schools to deal with. My school was supposed to be closed this past summer and the compliment of teachers and students moved to another school, but someone who stands to make a lot of money saw that it didn’t happen. We had to pull in Head Start to keep the Charters out of our school. I have to work 2 different schools because of re-zoning that was supposed to work with the closing of my school. We lost over 150 kids in that rezoning and countless more to charters because parents were told that my Frederick Douglass Elementary would be closed for the 2012-3013 school year. (Coincidence?)

    Charter Schools, TFA, and the GoP are all working together against public schools. They stand to make alot of money and the dismantling of public schools has started in the inner city sector where no one cares what happens.

    • Nathasha Alvarez

      What’s ETO?