ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – As many Florida educators have received or will receive their $1,000 bonuses, Gov. Ron DeSantis made a stop at a St. Petersburg school to hand-deliver checks to teachers.
The governor was joined by Florida Department of Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran for Wednesday’s news conference at Lakewood Elementary School to present checks to its educators. DeSantis said these bonuses for principals and teachers will continue rolling out this week and next for those who have not yet received them.
These $1,000 bonuses were approved in the budget in June, according to the governor, which will go to 175,000 teachers and 3,600 principals across the state. DeSantis praised educators who returned to the classrooms amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We really believe that what was done last year by having the kids in person is going to have probably as lasting of an impact as you can have, because the alternative of them not being able to access in-person learning, I think we’ve seen through other parts of the country, would have just been totally catastrophic,” he said.
During May’s announcement of the teacher bonuses, DeSantis described these payments as recognizing “a job well done” for the principals and teachers throughout the state for school districts and public charter schools.
“Really when you look at it from the state standpoint, the economy, everything, our teachers, literally, you know COVID attacked us and our teachers fought back and that’s what changed the state of Florida,” Corcoran added during Wednesday’s news conference.
This news conference comes as many students, including most in Central Florida, returned to school this week. It also comes after Corcoran is seeking to withhold the salaries of school officials in Alachua and Leon counties if they do not comply with the state rule aimed at allowing parents to decide whether children wear masks in school.