Governor Ron DeSantis today delivered his second State of the State address, which placed a bold emphasis on high-quality education – specifically in regards to elevating and celebrating educators. During the State of the State address, Governor DeSantis recognized 2020 Mary J. Brogan Award Winner, Melissa Pappas of Orange County, and 2019 Dr. Brian Dassler Award Winner, Lindsey Beam of Calhoun County.
“It was an honor to recognize Melissa Pappas and Lindsey Beam today during my State of the State Address,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Both of these educators have gone above and beyond for their students. This year, I have proposed historic funding to raise the minimum salary for Florida educators. Our teachers deserve the very best, and with this increase in funding, they will finally get the appreciation they deserve. I’m looking forward to working with the Legislature on securing this critical funding.”
“Governor DeSantis has proven himself time and time again that he is not only the Education Governor, but Florida is the Education State,” said Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran. “Governor DeSantis’ State of the State Address focused on elevating and celebrating educators, and he made it crystal clear that Florida educators deserved to be fairly compensated. He will not stop working until that goal is achieved and all Florida’s schoolchildren have a high-quality educator in their classrooms every day. Ultimately, the true winners are Florida’s students. I am looking forward to a successful 2020 Legislative Session and working with the Legislature to make Governor DeSantis’ teacher pay proposal a reality.”
In October, Governor DeSantis announced his proposal to increase the minimum salary for Florida teachers to $47,500, which would take Florida from the 26th highest minimum salary to the 2nd highest in the nation. The Governor’s proposed 2020 budget recommendation includes a pay raise for more than 101,000 teachers in Florida. In addition, the Governor has also proposed the new Florida Classroom Teacher and Florida School Principal Bonus Programs to better reward teachers and principals.
In addition to securing historic education funding, the department’s 2020 session priorities are:
- Increasing Educational Choice Options for Florida’s Families
- Requested a $24.8 million increase in funding, for a total of $172.8 million, for the Gardiner Scholarship Program to fund an estimated 2,367 additional students with special needs.
- Requested a doubling of the allowable enrollment growth for the Family Empowerment Scholarship Program.
- Elevating and Celebrating Educators
- Requested $602 million to increase the minimum salary for teachers across the state to take Florida from the 26th highest starting salary to the 2nd highest in the nation.
- Proposed the new Florida Classroom Teacher ($290 million) and Florida School Principal ($9 million) bonus programs to replace Best and Brightest, creating a simpler and lasting national best practice model to reward Florida’s teachers and principals who elevate student outcomes at their schools.
- Increasing School Safety and Mental Health Awareness
- Requested an additional $25 million in funding, $75 million total, for school safety grants to improve the physical security of K-12 school buildings.
- Requested a historic level of commitment ($100 million), a $25 million increase, to expand school-based mental health care and improve the availability of school- and community-based mental health services for students.
- Requested continued funding of $5.5 million for youth mental health awareness and assistance training, train the trainer and peer to peer training that will help get every public school employee the skills they need to support recognizing the signs and symptoms of mental illness, including the risk of committing suicide.
- Expanding Opportunities for Students in Career and Technical Education
- Requested continuation of the $10 million in funding for the Florida Pathways to Career Opportunities Grant Program.
- Requested continuation of the $10 million in funding for teacher professional development in computer science.
- Requested $5 million to expand and $11 million to meet demand of school district postsecondary programs at their technical colleges and centers.
For more information about the Florida Department of Education, visit www.fldoe.org.