Ron DeSantis is again proposing to increase teachers in Florida, using COVID relief money for rewards

Republican Florida Governor. Ron DeSantis She began dropping suggestions for what the new government spending plan might include.

DeSantis spoke to reporters at a Jacksonville public charter school press conference Wednesday, saying he plans to enact new budget proposals for the Florida education system. However, one notable proposal was to put $600 million into the state budget to raise teachers’ salaries.

“Our goal is to increase the average minimum wage particularly in Florida so that we can continue to attract great people into the teaching profession,” DeSantis told reporters at the press conference. He also sparked his continued interest in increasing teacher salaries across the state, citing a 2020 bill that raised the minimum wage to $47,500.

“We have done a lot since I became governor,” he said. “We’ve invested in raising teachers’ salaries, we’ve invested in early learning, we’ve expanded school choice, we’ve invested in career and technical education, and we really want to be able to keep that momentum going.”

DeSantis also announced plans to distribute rewards of $1,000 to teachers. These bonuses, which the Associated Press estimates will add up to $177 million to accommodate all qualified teachers and school administrators, will be drawn from federal pandemic relief funds. A further $65 million in rewards has also been proposed for teachers who complete the Florida Civics Seal of Excellence Program.

The governor has until December 12 to announce the government’s proposed 2022 spending plan. A proposed dollar amount for the education division of the budget was not presented at the conference.

For more reports from the Associated Press, see below.

DeSantis spoke to reporters at a Jacksonville public charter school press conference, saying he plans to enact new budget proposals for the Florida education system. Above, a teacher gives work to students at St. Lawrence Catholic School on the first day of school after summer vacation in North Miami, on August 18, 2021.
Photo by Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

DeSantis’ proposals will still need legislative approval.

This year, at DeSantis’ request, the legislature approved the use of federal pandemic relief funds to provide $1,000 bonuses for teachers.

DeSantis said earlier this year that he wants to scrap the state’s annual standardized test and replace it with a program with assessments that monitors students’ progress throughout the year. On Wednesday, he proposed spending $15.5 million to do so.

The legislature does not have to approve the governor’s budget request, but Republicans control of the house and Senate She has worked closely with DeSantis in the past.

local news outlet News 4 Jax He said DeSantis also proposed $421 million for measures that would improve school safety and create mental health initiatives. Funding per student can also be increased to $8,000. The state budget last year reached a record high of $101.5 billion.

DeSantis at school
DeSantis spoke to reporters at a Jacksonville public charter school press conference, saying he plans to enact new budget proposals for the Florida education system. In this Tuesday, September 14, 2021 file photo, DeSantis speaks at Doral Prep School in Doral, Florida.
AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee. a file

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