GOVERNOR SCOTT PRESENTS $15 MILLION IN SCHOOL RECOGNITION FUNDS TO BROWARD COUNTY SCHOOLS
– High student performance pays off for district’s top schools –
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.- Governor Rick Scott today acknowledged Broward County’s public schools that sustained high student performance or demonstrated substantial improvement in student performance by presenting a check totaling more than $15 million in School Recognition Program funding to Superintendent Robert W. Runcie. The check presentation was made before an audience of educators and community leaders at Piper High School in the City of Sunrise. Schools can use their award dollars for faculty or staff bonuses, to purchase educational equipment or materials, or hire temporary staff to help maintain or improve student performance. Statewide, school recognition funding totals more than $134 million.
Governor Scott said, “Florida students and teachers were ranked 6th for educational quality, our fourth-grade students scored among the best in the world in an international reading survey, and we recently learned Florida students are number one for percentage of students taking an AP exam. In conjunction with our proposed $1.2 billion in educational funding as part of the Florida Families First Budget, the school recognition funding will allow our teachers and students to continue on their path of success.”
Florida’s School Recognition Program acknowledges the quality of public schools by giving financial rewards based on sustained or significantly improved student achievement in reading, mathematics, science, and writing. Schools eligible for recognition awards include those receiving an ‘A’ school grade, improving at least one letter grade from the previous year, or improving more than one letter grade and sustaining the improvement the following school year. Alternative schools that increase their school improvement rating or are rated “improving” also qualify for awards. The school staff and school advisory council at each recognized school jointly decide how to use the financial award.
“Governor Scott understands rewarding schools for performance promotes even higher achievement,” said Commissioner of Education Dr. Tony Bennett. “His Florida Families First Budget calls for an even larger commitment to the School Recognition Program.”
As part of his Florida Families First Budget, Governor Scott requested an increase in School Recognition Program funding to $125 per student, up from $93 this year. State funding for K-12 education in the Florida Families First Budget totals $10.7 billion – the highest state funding level in history. Included in this historic total is $480 million to support $2,500 pay raises for Florida’s K-12 classroom teachers, plus the cost of associated benefits.
Total funding for K-12 education in the Florida Families First Budget is $18.47 billion, an increase of $1.25 billion, or 7.3 percent, over last year’s budget, which also invested $1 billion in K-12 education. This increase represents per student funding of $6,799, an increase of more than $400 over the current fiscal year.
“We are pleased that Governor Rick Scott made a special visit to Broward County to recognize our outstanding schools, teachers and staff with more than $15 million in school recognition funds, said Broward County Schools Superintendent Robert W. Runcie. “The School Recognition Program rewards our best teachers and I am proud to say that Broward has many in this category. Governor Scott’s Florida Families First Budget proposal to increase funding for a program that directly benefits our dedicated teachers and staff is commendable.”
“We are excited that Governor Scott is visiting Broward County and recognizing our teachers and staff for their dedication and commitment to improved student achievement,” said Broward School Board Member Katie Leach. “The School Recognition Program rewards people who are going above and beyond in the classroom and instilling the value of life-long learning in our students. I support Governor Rick Scott’s Florida Families First Budget and his proposal to increase funding for this most worthwhile program. I look forward to working with local and statewide education stakeholders to make his proposal a reality.”
Bob Swindell, President and CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, said: “A strong education system provides a sound economic development resource to sustain and enhance the economic growth, vitality, and global competitiveness of a community. The Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance applauds Governor Rick Scott for recognizing Broward County School teachers and staff with more than $15 million in school recognition funds. We support Governor Scott’s Florida Families First Budget and the proposed increase for the School Recognition Program. This program rewards our best and brightest and supports the local economy.”
About the Florida Department of Education: The department’s mission is to increase the proficiency of all students within one seamless, efficient education system by providing them the chance to expand their knowledge and skills through world-class learning opportunities. Serving more than 3.5 million students, 4,200 public schools, 28 colleges, 188,000 teachers, 47,000 college professors and administrators, and 318,000 individuals who work in education throughout the state, the department enhances the economic self-sufficiency of Floridians through programs and services geared toward college, workforce education, job-specific skills, and career development. Florida ranks first in the nation for teacher quality, first in the nation in advanced placement participation, and first in the southern region for graduation rate and degrees awarded by the Florida College System. For more information, visit www.fldoe.org.Tweet