PALM HARBOR, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis proposed, during a press conference Wednesday, a tangible way to say thank you to Florida principals and pre-K through grade 12 classroom teachers.
It comes in the form of a $1,000 bonus for nearly 3,600 principals and 180,000 full-time classroom teachers.
The governor is requesting that the legislature dedicate another $216 million from the third round of the ESSER funds to deliver the bonus to educators' bank accounts.
“Our Florida teachers and school principals have put student’s success first throughout the course of the coronavirus pandemic," DeSantis said while speaking at a Palm Harbor high school.
He says he wants the Legislature to have the funds appropriated during the session to help "get these checks out as soon as possible."
“We think it’s something that’s very appropriate given the great work that’s been done throughout the state of Florida during this school year," he added.
Florida Department of Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran shared the sentiment that the added bonus was well deserved after educators became the "silver lining" of the pandemic.
“They in this time of uncertainty were the certainty for our children,” Corcoran said.
“It’s really hard to find circumstances where stepping up is gonna be this consequential for these kids because if ya had not done it, you know, we would be in really difficult circumstances," DeSantis later added.
In 2020, DeSantis signed a bill that brought the state of Florida from 26th to 5th in the nation when it comes to teacher pay. The bill heightened the base pay for teachers to at least $47,500 per year.
"Hopefully, by doing something like this it's going to entice some more people who may be young and thinking about what they want to do to maybe go into teaching," DeSantis said at the time.
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