- The state of Florida is awarding a collective $200 million to 1,400 schools in recognition of student growth and achievement
- To receive the funding award, schools are required to attain an ‘A’ rating or improve a letter grade from the year prior
- The $200 million figure is a nearly $70 million increase from the 2019-20 dispersing of funds
Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday announced that the state will disperse $200 million to 1,400 schools that showed student growth and achievement throughout the academic year.
With the awarded funding, schools can use the funding for a variety of provisions including bonuses to the faculty and staff, educational equipment or materials to assist in maintaining and improving student performance, or temporary personnel.
To receive the award, a school must have earned an overall ‘A’ rating or improve one whole letter grade from the year prior.
The exact distribution of funds is determined by each school’s staff and school advisory council.
“These awards can be used to give our hard-working teachers bonuses, and are particularly important in Southwest Florida where they will go a long way toward helping our teachers in the area get back on their feet,” said DeSantis.
The governor drew attention to a portion of the funding that is allocated for high-achieving schools directly affected by the landfall of Hurricane Ian.
In Southwest Florida, 96 schools received $13 million including 24 in Sarasota County, 27 in Lee County, 38 in Collier County, and 6 in Charlotte County.
DeSantis also remarked on additional state-level education initiatives in the works that would have been announced by now if not for the hurricane.
“None of this would be possible without the leadership of Governor Ron DeSantis, the efforts of state leaders, and the resiliency of district leadership and staff,” said Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz, Jr.
The $200 million figure is a nearly $70 million increase compared to the awarded funds doled out for the 2019-20 school year, the last time the recognitions were publicized.
In the 2019-20 iteration, Miami-Dade County schools received the most money at $17 million, followed by Broward and Palm Beach counties at $13 million and $10 million, respectively.
All remaining closed K-12 schools are set to re-open this week, with the final two in Sarasota County resuming classes on Tuesday. As of last week, all of Florida’s public higher education institutions have resumed classes and campuses remain operational.
Most of Florida’s 40 public state colleges and universities shuttered in preparation for the incoming storm. While many were lucky to get by unscathed, some campuses sustained damage, leading to class postponements through last week.
Efforts to reopen education institutions included Diaz, Jr. organizing Florida College System presidents into a hurricane response strike group to facilitate quick responses to emergency needs, and dozens of university and college students volunteering to help reopen their schools.