Governor Ron DeSantis announced today more than $422 million will be invested into teacher and principal compensation increases as part of reforms to the Best and Brightest Teachers program.
The announcement came during a press conference at Armwood High School in Seffner, FL.
“What we are trying to do is identify those teachers that are rated highly effective and are helping their schools move forward,” he said. “If they are doing that we think they should be rewarded.”
The reforms will also include renewed investment to recruit and retain the best, most dedicated educators for Florida schools according to a press release from the office.
“I’m proud to announce these steps we are taking to ensure our state recruits and retains the very best educators for Florida schools,” DeSantis said. “This renewed investment will reward highly effective teachers and principals across our state who are making a positive impact in our students lives. We are also proposing a new recruitment program to bolster the educational ranks of our schools and ensure our students are receiving the best education possible.”
Under this new program, nearly 45,000 highly effective teachers would be eligible for bonuses exceeding $9,000. It would also include bonuses of up to $6,500 for principals at schools throughout Florida to reward those who are creating classroom environments to help students thrive.
In addition, the new program would remove the SAT/ACT test score requirements for teachers to be eligible for a bonus.
Based on data from last year, DeSantis said the bonus program would increase bonuses for teachers and principals in Title I schools as well as increase the number of African American teachers receiving bonuses from 1 percent to 9.8 percent.
The new plan also includes a first-of-its-kind investment in teacher recruitment by establishing the Teacher Talent Pipeline in Florida. This new program would include $10 million per year for the next five years to launch a loan and tuition forgiveness program for as many as 1,700 new teachers per year who commit to working as a teacher in Florida for five years.
The DeSantis Administration will also work in conjunction with the Florida Legislature to develop a Bad Actor List to prevent school operators who have been sanctioned or shut down by the state from working with Florida schools in the future. These individuals would be banned from engaging with schools in our state in any capacity for life.
This announcement comes on the heels of an executive order issued last week aimed at ending Common Core standards in Florida.