HIALEAH GARDENS, Fla. — The starting salaries for teachers in Florida are going up.
Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill on Wednesday that provides $500 million to increase the minimum salary for public and charter school teachers in Florida.
"We wanted to take Florida from No. 26 in the nation for average minimum teacher salary to the top five," DeSantis said.
In addition, an additional $100 million will go toward salary increases for more experienced teachers who are making more than the minimum salary.
"By doing something like this, it's going to entice some more people who may be young and thinking about what they want to do to maybe go into teaching," DeSantis said.
Speaking at the Mater Academy in Hialeah Gardens, the governor also gave an update on Florida's response to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health, there are 109,014 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state as of Wednesday, a record increase of 5,511 cases from the day before.
DeSantis urged residents to continue wearing face coverings in public, practice social distancing, and avoid closed spaces with poor ventilation, crowded places, and close-contact settings.
"The sunshine, heat and humidity is your friend," DeSantis said. "When you're in an enclosed space, particularly if you don't have social distancing, if it's a private party or something like that, and you're cramped in with bad ventilation, you're gonna have more spread."
Florida is seeing a rapid transition in the number of COVID-19 cases among people who are 18 to 34 years old, the governor said.
"Granted, they weren't being tested at this level a couple of months ago, but I also think they're testing positive at a higher and higher rate. So clearly you have a lot of spread there," DeSantis said.