JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Florida's governor was in Jacksonville on Wednesday morning to outline his education budget proposal for the next fiscal year.
Gov. Ron DeSantis was joined by Department of Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran for the announcement.
"Fortunately in the state of Florida, we're at a very strong budget position. Our reserves are incredibly healthy, particularly given what people were projecting when COVID first hit," DeSantis said. "Every month we tend to bring in significantly more revenue over the revenue estimate."
He said the budget will emphasize teacher pay, mental health, progress monitoring, school safety and workforce education.
The governor's proposal includes:
- Boost Teacher Pay: $600 million to raise teacher salaries from $40,000 to $47,500
- Teacher Bonuses: Provide nearly 177,000 Florida teachers and principals with $1,000 bonuses for second straight year
- Progress Monitoring: $15.5 million for schools to eliminate the FSA and provide progress monitoring tools
- Student Funding: $8,000 in funding per student
- Civics: $65 million for teacher bonuses for earning a Florida Civics Seal of Excellence, and $500,000 to expand the Florida Civics and Debate Initiative to all school districts
- Workforce Development: $534 million to support workforce education programs
- School Safety, Mental Health: $421 million
"Florida is the education state. We now rank No. 3 in the latest quality counts rating for K-12 by Education Week, and we're ahead of the national average in almost all of the individual categories," DeSantis said.
The governor said he continues to be worried about inflation and the increased cost of living.
"It does represent a threat to having a vibrant economy. It absolutely impacts every family's budget," DeSantis said.