MACCLENNY, Fla. (WTXL) — Tens of thousands of teachers and principals throughout Florida will receive $1,000 bonuses, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced on Wednesday.
Speaking at Baker County Middle School in Macclenny, the governor said he asked the Florida Legislature to approve the bonuses to reward classroom teachers and principals for all their dedication and sacrifices during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We're proud that we got the bonuses through," DeSantis said. "We understand that it was a unique set of circumstances that many of our schools had to do.
The governor said the $1,000 bonuses will be part of the new state budget which DeSantis expects to sign "very shortly." The bonuses will go to classroom teachers and principals in every school district and public charter school in Florida.
"It's so important and it's so well deserved," Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said. "Our teachers, our education community, it truly is the backbone of society."
DeSantis praised Florida educators for returning to brick-and-mortar instruction at the start of the 2020/21 academic year while many states remained in distance learning only.
"The superintendents in Florida, the principals, the teachers overwhelmingly wanted to get back, wanted to give the kids the ability to learn face-to-face because they understood how important it was," DeSantis said.
School districts in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River, and Okeechobee counties have all announced they're planning to return to traditional in-person education at the start of the next school year.
However, if you aren't quite ready for the return or enjoyed the virtual learning atmosphere, there are still options available, including Florida Virtual School and related school district virtual programs.