DeSantis says teachers will get $422 million more in increased bonus program

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a wide-range of teacher pay proposals Thursday that include $422 million in rewards for teachers and an increase in the percentage of black teachers who would receive the rewards.

DeSantis announced his long-awaited teacher pay proposal at Armwood Senior High School.

“I think we’re moving in the right direction here,” DeSantis said. “We’ve had some positive feedback and I just want to keep going.”

Among his proposals:

A $422 million increase in teacher rewards.

45,000 teachers could get more than $9,000 each in bonuses. Currently, those eligible for bonuses would have to be rated as “highly effective.” This would not change. Also, teachers would have to work at schools that grew by at least 1 percent in their grade calculation.

Principals could get $6,500 bonuses.

Bonuses granted under the the Best & Brightest program would no longer be tied to college entrance exams like the SAT and ACT.

Under his plan, DeSantis said the percentage of African-American teachers would increase from 1 percent to 9.8 percent.

$10 million would be spent on teacher recruitment, focusing mostly on high-needs areas.

Loan forgiveness or tuition waivers for 1,700 teachers if they commit to teaching for at least five years in Florida.

A new “bad actor” list for failed charter schools so they can’t operate somewhere else in Florida.