Florida School Recognition Program
The School Recognition Program recognizes the high quality of many of Florida's public schools. As authorized in Section 1008.36, the program provides greater autonomy and financial awards to schools that demonstrate sustained or significantly improved student performance. Schools that receive an A or schools that improve at least one performance grade category are eligible for school recognition. Funds for the Florida School Recognition Program shall be awarded by the Commissioner of Education in the amount of up to $100 per Full Time Equivalent student for each qualifying school.
The staff and school advisory council at each recognized school jointly decide how to use the financial award. As specified in statute, schools must use their awards for one or any combination of the following:
- Nonrecurring faculty and staff bonuses;
- Nonrecurring expenditures for educational equipment and materials; or
- Temporary personnel to assist in maintaining or improving student performance.
If school staff and the school advisory council cannot reach agreement by February 1, the awards must be equally distributed to all classroom teachers currently teaching in the school. If a school selected to receive a school recognition award is no longer in existence at the time the award is paid, the district school superintendent shall distribute the funds to teachers who taught at the school in the previous year in the form of a bonus.
The final yearly amounts distributed to schools through the Florida School Recognition Awards are determined after high school grades are finalized. Complete grades for high schools are not released until several months after grades for elementary and middle schools because data for several of the high-school grading components is not available until later in the year. The 2014 Florida School Recognition Program has recognized 1,553 schools and provided a total of $124,625,760 in financial award.