State blames bank over rebound in Florida educator bonus checks – CBS Miami


TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami / NSF) – Remember those $ 1,000 bonus checks Governor Ron DeSantis promised teachers? It turns out that about 50 educators in Florida were unable to cash state checks because they were bounced, officials from the Florida Department of Education admitted on Friday.

The state is working to correct the error, agency spokesman Brett Tubbs told the News Service of Florida in an email.

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“A JPMorgan Chase bank error affected about 50 of the 176,000 educators who received disaster relief payment,” Tubbs wrote. The educators who received the worthless checks have been identified and the bank “said it would reimburse all penalties and fees” associated with the error, Tubbs said.

Providing bonus checks to teachers and school principals using federal coronavirus relief money was a priority for Governor Ron DeSantis during the 2021 legislative session that ended in April. The bonuses were intended to show the appreciation of teachers who worked throughout the 2020-21 school year amid the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Senator Jason Pizzo, D-North Miami Beach, called attention to the issue on Twitter with a photo of one of the educators’ bounced checks on Friday.

“Teaching Moment: The individual political advantage of spending $ 3.6 million to print and send thousands of checks bearing your name is offset by the more efficient and fiscally responsible option of direct deposit,” Pizzo wrote in a subsequent tweet after the education department released its explanation of the problem.

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