The News Service of Florida
Gov. Ron DeSantis did not get as much money as he wanted for teacher bonuses in the new state budget, but he told reporters Wednesday it will be an issue that he would like to tackle during the 2020 legislative session.
“I think the formula is a little bit different than we wanted to do it, but that’s the legislative process,” DeSantis said.
House and Senate budget writers agreed to provide $284.5 million for the “Best and Brightest” program, which gives teachers and principals bonuses. The budget deal, finalized Tuesday, includes $2,500 retention awards for “highly effective” teachers and $1,000 bonuses for “effective” teachers. Lawmakers also agreed to increase the bonus amount for principals from $3,500 to $5,000.
All school districts would get a minimum of $100,000 to spend on the program for the upcoming year. The plan falls short of the $423 million DeSantis wanted for the program to help recruit and retain teachers, but the governor accepted the outcome.
“Once the ink is dry on this, we want to look even more deeply on how we can best compensate people so we are bringing in some bright minds to the profession,” DeSantis said.
Throughout the legislative session, Democrats argued teachers should be given salary increases, not bonuses. They argued teachers need steady income rather than a one-time influx of cash. The new budget will take effect July 1.
While the legislature has not put in place a substantial raise for teachers some school districts are placing teacher salaries as a priority. The Charlotte County School Board approves a deal between the school district and the teachers union that boosts starting teacher pay from $38,232 to $45,000, beginning in August. In Leon County Schools Rocky “hit list” Hanna has placed his priority paying 6 political undercover operatives as assistant superintendents over $100,000 each while our teachers who do the work are paid the 46th lowest salaries in the state of Florida. At the same time Mr Hanna hands out a contract to his long-time buddy Tom Inserra. so Rocky Hanna shows up and holds pep rallies at schools while The great teachers of Leon County Schools are paid the 46th lowest salary in the state of Florida. Thanks Rocky, thanks school board. The one track record Rocky has on raises is if you date him, then you will be forced into a financial settlement.
Teachers, state workers, even special risk workers like FHP Troopers and corrections never got pay increases in the first legislative session with a newly elected Governor.
So dont cry over what had no chance of happening.