PANAMA CITY, FLA. (WMBB) — Gov. Ron DeSantis visited North Bay Haven Charter School on Wednesday and handed out $1,000 checks to some teachers.
All teachers and principals at public and charter schools will receive the $1,000 bonus, due to their work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, DeSantis said.
“Given the challenges, you know the people, the teachers, and the principles — you know we put a lot on their shoulders to make sure we put these kids first,” DeSantis said. “And people are going to look back and say you know what Florida stood by its kids.”
School teachers were appreciative of the bonus, as well as the minimum salary increase that is taking place, due to additional funding in the last two state budgets.
The state is raising the minimum salary from $40,000 to $46,000 to incentivize more teachers to work in Florida.
“I think it’s just incredible, we’ve all been working so hard,” Katie Ricca, a first-grade teacher at North Bay Haven said. “Last year we were just thrown into the wild when they said ‘Ok we’re going back to school but you’re going to have some kids at school and some kids online.’ And it was a huge learning process and we just made it happen.”
The $1,000 bonuses were approved by the Florida State Legislature and signed by Gov. DeSantis.
“We asked for about $215 million,” DeSantis said. “We wanted to provide it for 175,000 full-time school teachers, both with school districts as well as public charter schools. And more than 3,600 public school principles.”