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Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced on Wednesday that he will send $1,000 bonuses to the state’s teachers and principals.
DeSantis announced the bonuses during an event at Baker County Middle School in Macclenny, thanking teachers and administrators for their dedication during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re proud that we got the bonuses through,” DeSantis said, according to WFLX-TV. “We understand that it was a unique set of circumstances that many of our schools had to do.”
“Schools in Florida are open, and we’re saying thank you to our hard-working teachers in the classroom by giving them $1,000 bonuses and raises,” the governor tweeted.
The governor also said the bonuses were part of the state budget he expects to sign soon, according to the report.
“The bonuses will go to more than 3,600 principals and nearly 180,000 full-time classroom teachers for grades pre-K through 12th,” WTVJ-TV reported.
WSVN-TV reported, “According to a release from the governor’s office, the proposal would amount to $216 million and would come from the third round of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund.”
The news follows the governor’s announcement earlier in May to give a $1,000 bonus for first responders in his state including firefighters, paramedics and police officers who were on the job during the coronavirus pandemic, according to Fox News.
“I asked the legislature in this legislative session, we need to do bonuses for law enforcement,” DeSantis said in a news conference at the time.
“Some wanted to defund the police; we’re funding the police, and then some,” he said.
According to WESH-TV, the governor’s office said the bonus for first responders will come from the rescue plan passed by Congress and distributed to the states.
This recognition for more than 174,000 first responders in Florida is significant as monetary compensation for those who did not shy away from their duties during the pandemic.
During the Republican Committee of Allegheny County’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner earlier in May, DeSantis emphasized his state’s open school policy, according to NBC News.
“While in all these lockdown states closed schools, shuttered businesses and destroyed lives were the norm, in Florida, we’ve had schools open the entire school year,” DeSantis said.
“Our businesses are thriving and we’ve saved millions of livelihoods from the brunt of lockdowns, and all I can say to any state that has not followed suit: Open your state. Open your schools. Take off these mask mandates. Let people live and thrive,” he added.
“We did not suppress our society. Our schools have been open.”
The governor said, “Every parent has a right to send their kid to school in person in the state of Florida.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.