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Gov. DeSantis wants $422 million for Florida teacher bonuses

'Best and Brightest Teachers Program' also includes principal bonuses

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BRANDON, Fla. – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis going to ask the Legislature to give nearly 45,000 teachers a bonus of more than $9,000 in the coming year.

A Hillsborough County high school on Thursday, DeSantis announced plans to help the state recruit and retain teachers. He wants the Florida Legislature to set aside $422 million for the program that would also offer bonuses to principals as well.

"I’m proud to announce a renewed investment to recruit and retain the best, most dedicated educators for Florida schools," DeSantis said.

Florida currently gives bonuses to highly-effective teachers who also scored well on their college entrance exams. DeSantis wants to eliminate the college entrance exam requirement from the "Best and Brightest" program.

DeSantis's proposal would cost the state more than double the current bonus program. In his plan, thousands of teachers rated highly effective or higher would get bonuses. School principals will receive $6,500 bonuses.

Also, teacher bonuses will no longer be tied to SAT/ACT requirements.

The Republican governor also wants $10 million to pay the college tuition of teachers who agree to teach in Florida for five years.