ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — Florida Governor Ron DeSantis held a press conference to recruit teachers at Cordova Park Elementary School in Escambia County.

According to DeSantis, Florida has 1.3 million students in the Expanded Choice Program, which allows families to apply to attend schools outside of their zoned schools. DeSantis said the government has created a “teacher category” for how much money can be put towards teacher salaries. The category now has around $800 million that must be used for teacher’s pay.

During the speech, DeSantis said the minimum teacher salary has raised from $40,000 to over $48,000 and the overall salary has raised $49,000 to $54,000. DeSantis praised Florida teachers for being the No. three state in the southeast for K-12 achievement and No. one in the southeast for 4th-grade reading and math.

Another topic DeSantis touched on was retired military and first responder jobs. Officials in Florida are offering a five-year teaching certificate to these men and women and they will receive a $5,000 sign-on bonus. High school teachers in Florida can also receive scholarships to get their masters so they can teach dual enrollment classes to high school students and get them prepared for life after graduation.

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