"I'm convinced that this will make a big difference; it's significant," DeSantis said.
The money would boost starting teacher pay by about $10,000, increasing the minimum salary to $47,500 and moving Florida from 26th in the nation to second.
"This is an investment, an investment in our children, and our teachers, and our future," said state Sen. David Simmons.
Simmons says Florida can no longer afford low pay.
The same as the state competes for jobs, it also competes for teachers, and lately, Florida has been falling behind.
As far as veteran teachers and their pay, the governor has said the $603 million request isn't his final proposal.
Many of the details of the proposal are still being worked out. The governor indicated the money would come from general revenue.
There would also be something built in to address teachers already on the job.