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Florida State Senator Concerned with Teacher Debit Cards

Image: State Senator Darren Soto
Image: State Senator Darren Soto

August 15th, 2013 | WMFE - An Orlando-area lawmaker is trying to make sure Florida teachers get money to buy school supplies before students return to the classroom.

A program that gives teachers a stipend of two-hundred and fifty dollars for supplies through a tax-free debit card was approved by the Florida Legislature last session. But Democratic Florida State Senator Darren Soto says teachers may not receive the funding until mid-September -- weeks after the start of the school year

Soto has submitted a bill to send the cards to teachers two weeks before classes start.

"This is one of the programs that needs to be addressed so that our teachers have sufficient supplies to execute the lesson and are not dipping into their personal funds to do so,” said Soto. 

Soto’s bill also includes plans to raise the amount of money the debit cards provide, giving five-hundred dollars to middle school teachers and seven-hundred and fifty dollars to high school teachers.

Only seven counties have enrolled in the debit card program so far. Teachers in other districts will be reimbursed via check. 


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