Ron DeSantis Calls for Reforming Bonus Program for Florida Teachers and Principals

On Thursday, Gov. Ron DeSantis called for reforming the bonus program for teachers and principals across the Sunshine State.

DeSantis proposed changing the current “Best and Brightest” bonus program to the “Florida Classroom Teacher and Florida School Principal Bonus Programs,” insisting his plan will “better reward teachers and principals for their hard work and dedication” and he is calling on the Legislature to set aside $300 million for the new program.

“This legislative session and in my forthcoming recommended budget, I am proposing $300 million in teacher and principal bonuses that reward Florida’s educators,” said DeSantis. “We want to make sure we are doing all that we can to recruit and retain great educators throughout the state of Florida. Together, we can advance this and other proposals as we strive to make 2020 the Year of the Teacher.”

The governor’s office the new proposal will be better than the current plan as it will “further to incentivize teachers and principals to remain in public education, especially in schools that face greater challenges.” DeSantis is also calling for a minimum salary of $47,500 for teachers in Florida.

“Florida is extremely fortunate to have educators that inspire students every day, and that is why we have made elevating and celebrating teachers our first priority,” said Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran. “I was honored to stand with Governor DeSantis today as he announced this transformative teacher compensation package. Governor DeSantis has once again proven himself as the Education Governor, with his proposal to increase the minimum salary for teachers across the state and reward educators in schools that need the greatest support. We will not stop working until every Florida student has the opportunity to get a world-class education and become productive, civically-minded members of society.”

According to his office, the governor’s proposal would provide bonuses to classroom teachers and school principals whose schools meet one of the following tier structures:

Tier 1: Schools earn 85 percent or greater of the total possible points or gain 6 or more points in their A-F school grading calculation;

Tier 2: Schools gaining 3 to 5 points in their A-F school grading calculation; or

Tier 3: Schools gaining 1 to 2 points in their A-F school grading calculation.

 

The bonus award amounts for teachers are as follows:

Tier 1: Title I schools will receive a bonus of up to $7,500 and non-Title I schools receive up to $3,700;

Tier 2: Title I schools will receive a bonus of up to $3,500 and non-Title I schools receive up to $1,750; and

Tier 3: Title I schools will receive a bonus of up to $1,000 and non-Title I schools receive up to $500.

 

The bonus award amounts for principals are as follows:

Tier 1: Title I schools will receive a bonus of up to $10,000 and non-Title I schools receive up to $5,000;

Tier 2: Title I schools will receive a bonus of up to $5,000 and non-Title I schools receive up to $2,500; and

Tier 3: Title I schools will receive a bonus of up to $2,500 and non-Title I schools receive up to $1,250.

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