Florida Governor DeSantis Proposes Boosting Teacher Pay

Governor DeSantis Proposes Boosting Teacher Pay, Ending the FSA, Renewing Bonuses for Principals and Teachers and Expanding Workforce Initiatives

JACKSONVILLE, FL (STL.News) Governor Ron DeSantis announced his education budget proposals that will invest record funding in Florida’s public schools.  The proposal includes a second-straight year of $1,000 bonuses for Florida’s teachers and principals; $600 million to raise minimum teacher salaries for the third year in a row from $40,000 to $47,500; and the highest per-student funding in Florida’s history at $8,000 per student.  A summary of the Governor’s announcement can be found HERE.

“Since day one, I have been focused on making Florida a leader in education, and I am proud to announce my proposals to invest record funding into our education system over the next year,” said Governor Ron DeSantis.  “By continuing to boost teacher pay, give bonuses to principals and teachers, prioritize workforce education, foster a strong civics curriculum, and replace the FSA with progress monitoring, we’re making a significant difference in the lives of our students.”

“I am incredibly thankful for the bold commitment Governor DeSantis has made to make Florida the Education State,” said Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran.  “We must continue to act with urgency in seeking innovative ways to improve the quality of education we provide students.  As Florida continues to be a national leader in education, these historic investments will undoubtedly help us focus on the individual needs of students to help them grow academically.”

The Governor’s proposal for the FY 2022-2023 education budget recommendation includes increases in funding for both educators and students:

Governor DeSantis is proposing a second round of $1,000 bonus checks for 177,000 teachers and principals in Florida. He is also proposing $600 million – a $50 million budget increase over the past year – for teacher pay, continuing Florida’s efforts to reach a minimum starting teacher salary of $47,500.

Governor DeSantis is also calling for an increase in per-student funding to raise this year’s budget to $8,000 per student. This will represent the highest amount of per-student funding in Florida’s history.

Governor DeSantis is also proposing $421 million for school safety and mental health initiatives.  That funding includes $210 million for the safe schools program – an increase of $30 million over the previous year, $140 million for mental health – a $20 million increase over the previous year, $42 million for school hardening grants, and $4 million for safety initiatives at Jewish Day Schools.

Governor DeSantis is also proposing three major investments in Florida’s new education initiatives and innovative education programs:

To fully eliminate the Florida Standards Assessment and implement progress monitoring in its place, Governor DeSantis is proposing $15.5 million in recurring funding to provide progress monitoring tools to schools.

Governor DeSantis is also proposing $500,000 to expand access to the Florida Civics and Debate Initiative into every school district in the 2022-2023 school year, which is in addition to $106 million Governor DeSantis announced earlier this year to provide teacher bonuses for earning a Florida Civics Seal of Excellence.

To further efforts to make Florida the number one state for Workforce Education by 2030, $534 million in funding to support workforce education programs is included in the proposed budget.  The Governor’s budget also includes $100 million for the Workforce Development Capitalization Grant Program, which will create and expand workforce development programs at Florida’s school districts and state colleges.