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Gov. Ron DeSantis announces $422 million increase in bonuses for teachers

Nearly 45,000 teachers would get $9,000 bonuses under the plan.

SEFFNER, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis says he wants to get teachers better bonuses.

Speaking Thursday in Seffner, the governor announced a plan to set aside more than $422 million in the state budget. It's money he says will be used to pay teachers larger bonuses.

“One of the things that I said we needed to do during the campaign was to make sure that we were rewarding and maintaining our great teachers,” DeSantis said.

Nearly 45,000 teachers would get $9,000 bonuses under the plan. Principals would get $6,500 bonuses.

The plan replaces the state’s “Best and Brightest” program. DeSantis said many people didn’t feel “Best and Brightest” awarded bonuses fairly because it relied too heavily on SAT and ACT scores.

“A lot of folks didn’t think that was the best way to do because, quite frankly, that test is one moment in time and is not necessarily indicative of the passion that you’re doing when you’re into the classroom,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis also said he would work with the Department of Education to create a “bad actor” list for failed charter schools so they can’t operate elsewhere in Florida. The governor said new lawmakers might need to devise legislation to create that list.

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