Governor Ron DeSantis today announced a proposal to provide $1,000 bonuses to public school principals and full-time classroom teachers for grades Pre-K through 12th grade in Florida. The funding for the bonuses would be $216 million from the third round of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER).
The proposal would provide a bonus to more than 3,600 public school principals and nearly 180,000 full-time classroom teachers. Governor DeSantis is asking the Florida Senate and House of Representatives to include this $216 million appropriation in their respective budgets.
“The past year included so much uncertainty for our state’s students, parents and educators,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “In Florida, we knew how important it was for our students to return to school, and our principals and teachers answered the call. I urge the Florida Legislature to join me in awarding our great educators through this bonus program as a show of gratitude for their actions and hard work.”
“I am proud to stand with Governor DeSantis as he once again demonstrates his leadership and commitment to our educators for the incredible job, they have done during this extremely challenging school year,” said Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran. “The Governor’s proposal is just one way we can show our appreciation to our hard-working teachers and principals who guided Florida through these immense challenges, and I look forward to the Legislature making it a reality.”
Today’s proposal by Governor DeSantis builds on other teacher compensation initiatives the Governor and his administration have undertaken. Last year, Governor DeSantis called for and secured a $500 million investment to raise the minimum salary for teachers, and his Florida Leads budget recommendation for Fiscal Year 2021-2022 includes an additional $50 million to continue raising the minimum salary for Florida’s teachers.
Additionally, the Governor recently announced a proposal to dedicate $106 million from the second round of ESSER funds toward a Civic Literacy Excellence Initiative which includes professional development support and a $3,000 bonus for teachers participating in the Florida Civics Seal of Excellence endorsement program. More information on this initiative can be found here.