DeSantis Is Proposing Larger Teacher Bonuses, But Will They Cure Florida's Teacher Shortage?

February 8, 2019

Governor Ron DeSantis is proposing changes to the state’s Best and Brightest program that he says will result in sizable bonuses for highly rated teachers. The move comes amid a teacher shortage that has made recruitment a necessity.

If public school teachers in Florida hit certain performance benchmarks, they may soon stand to benefit to the tune of as much as $9,000. An incentive program is already in place under Best & Brightest, which tops out at $6,000 for those rated “highly effective.” DeSantis says he can increase the bonuses with a $422 million investment.

Talia Milgrom-Elcott is the executive director of 100K in 10 – an organization aiming to add 100,000 teachers in STEM subjects nationwide by 2021, believers changes need to be of the long-term variety in order to attract teachers.

“The first step is salary, if it’s below what’s possible,” Milgrom-Elcott said. “A recent analysis showed us something really important – teaching used to be an above average pay in most states. Now it is below average in 42 states.”

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