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Gov. DeSantis Asks Florida Legislature for $1,000 Bonuses for Public School Teachers, Principals

Photo: Thisisengineering
Photo: Thisisengineering

Gov. Ron DeSantis is asking the Florida legislature for an additional $216 million dollars to give public preK-12 teachers and principals in the state $1,000 dollar bonuses. 

DeSantis says some 3,600 principals and nearly 180,000 full-time classroom teachers stand to benefit from these checks. 

He says this would be in addition to $50 million dollars he’s asking for from the legislature to fund the minimum wage hike for teachers that he signed into law last year. 

“It’s a day to say thank you. It’s a day to appreciate all the great people in Florida who have worked to give kids an education this year.”

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DeSantis says the money would come from the Education Stabilization Fund as part of the CARES Act.

He says the goal is to make sure every student is back to in-person instruction starting next year especially with vaccines becoming widely available.

He says Florida will receive some one million first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine next week as eligibility expands to all residents 16 and up.

These extra doses will come in the form of more Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines. Plus, additional CVS and other pharmacies in the state will join the federal retail and pharmacy program and will start to offer shots. 

With this in mind, he says he’s getting his shot this week.

“I became eligible on Monday. I haven’t had it yet. But I am planning on doing it this week. I’m not sure we’re going to do it on camera. I mean we’ll see. I mean if you guys want a gun show, maybe we could do it. But probably better off not.”

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DeSantis says almost 75 percent of seniors in the Sunshine State have gotten at least their first dose of the vaccine.

He expects there to be some long lines next week, when all Florida adults become eligible, but expects the state will have stockpiled a surplus of vaccines by May.

Danielle Prieur is WMFE's education reporter.