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August 30, 2002

Contact: Elizabeth Hirst
(850) 488-5394

Governor Bush and Secretary of Education Jim Horne
award Sallye B. Mathis Elementary School increased funding for improving to a "C" school

Governor presents check to school for nearly $38,000; schools statewide receive total of $120,123,207 in school recognition funds this year

JACKSONVILLE — On the final stop of their statewide School Recognition Tour, Governor Jeb Bush and Secretary of Education Jim Horne today presented Sallye B. Mathis Elementary School with a check for $37,872 at a student rally for improving their grade to a "C" during the 2001-02 school year.

"Every year, I take great pride in visiting schools in this state that have worked so hard to improve and succeed," Governor Bush said. "I know the teachers, administrators and parents here are extremely proud of these accomplishments. It takes teamwork to make sure our students are striving to get the quality education they deserve."

Sallye B. Mathis Elementary improved its grade to a "C" from last year's "D". The school has also improved from a "D" grade in 2000 and from an "F"in 1999. The student population at the school is 96 percent minority, with a free and reduced lunch rate of 85 percent. During today's rally, the Governor commended the school for several excellence initiatives including a professional partnership with University of North Florida which provides interns and a supervisor on site, providing assessment driven instruction by using FCAT scores to plan individualized learning programs for students, and serving as a magnet performing arts school.

The Bush/Brogan A+ School Recognition Program recognizes schools that are achieving and showing improvement. All of Florida's public schools received report cards with grades on an "A" through "F" scale. The program recognizes schools that have improved at least one letter grade or received an "A" for the 2001-2002 school year. Schools that improve at least one grade or receive an "A" based primarily on student achievement are being rewarded with $100 per student.

"The academic improvement at Sallye B. Mathis has been exemplary," Secretary Horne said. "This day has been set aside to recognize the school's outstanding progress and to reward the students and staff for a job well done."

In addition to Sallye B. Mathis Elementary, other Duval County schools will receive more than $5 million for showing improvement or earning an "A"(see attached). Recognition funds can be used by a school for non-recurring bonuses to the faculty and staff, non-recurring expenditures for educational equipment and materials, or hiring temporary personnel to assist in maintaining and improving student performance.

Since 1999, $304 million has been awarded to eligible schools receiving an A performance grade or schools improving at least one performance grade category from the previous year.

Under the leadership of Governor Bush, accomplishments for education include:

  • FUNDING INCREASES: A four-year funding increase of over $3 billion — 27 percent — which far surpasses Florida's significant student growth in the same period of 10.5 percent.

  • RISING STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT: For 2002, student reading and math scores improved over last year. Elementary student reading and math scores improved the most with 3rd, 4th and 5th graders all demonstrating improvement in reading and in math. Minority students also showed notable increases.

  • A+ PLAN/ANNUAL STUDENT LEARNING GAINS: This is the first year that the state measured annual student learning gains, measuring student performance year to year. Since A+ began, the number of F schools has dropped every year, with no schools receiving a failing grade in 2001. With this year's increased standards, 68, or about 3 percent of schools received a failing grade, but only 10 received an F for the second time. This is evidence that school improvement efforts and accountability are working. Just as the performance bar has been raised for schools, so too has it been raised for assistance measures. The Governor's Assistance Plus program will provide failing schools with training and support to improve achievement.

  • ELIMINATION OF SOCIAL PROMOTION: Social promotion is no longer an option. Students who show deficiencies in reading before the end of first or second grade will be given intensive instruction and will not be promoted until they have acquired the skills.

  • JUST READ, FLORIDA!: This initiative was unveiled in 2001 which prioritizes reading in Florida's public schools and among all the community groups and volunteer organizations that support them. It is based on the latest reading research that includes emphasis on phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension. The goal of the initiative is for every Florida child reading on grade level or better by 2012.

Governor Bush and Secretary Horne will also visit schools today in Orlando and Jacksonville. Lt. Governor Frank Brogan and Education Commissioner Charlie Crist will visit schools in Tampa and Pensacola during the day-long school recognition tour.

Other Duval County schools to receive school recognition funds this year include:

West Riverside Elementary School$35,056
Brentwood Elementary School$31,847
Ortega Elementary School$39,472
Central Riverside Elementary School$43,526
Fishweir Elementary School$35,813
Annie R. Morgan Elementary School$49,210
Loretto Elementary School$122,770
Henry F. Kite Elementary School$37,164
Dinsmore Elementary School$41,495
Thomas Jefferson Elementary School$54,917
Whitehouse Elementary School$55,556
Wesconnett Elementary School$31,554
Oceanway Elementary School$60,585
Duncan U. Fletcher Middle School$160,492
Hogan-Spring Glen Elem. School$46,157
Atlantic Beach Elementary School$52,109
Alfred I. Dupont Middle School$134,757
Venetia Elementary School$38,074
North Shore Elementary School$41,506
Hendricks Avenue Elementary School$66,647
Paxon School for Advanced Studies$139,803
Hyde Park Elementary School$49,905
Ramona Boulevard Elem. School$39,111
San Pablo Elementary School$52,130
San Jose Elementary School$75,895
Bayview Elementary School$45,603
John Stockton Elementary School$48,035
Woodland Acres Elementary School$69,709
Sallye B. Mathis Elementary School$37,872
Cedar Hills Elementary School$35,171
Highlands Elementary School$51,065
Douglas Anderson School of the Arts$100,086
Sadie T. Tillis Elementary School$39,228
Jacksonville Beach Elem. School$63,120
Darnell Cookman Middle School$120,384
James Weldon Johnson Middle School $121,466
Stanton College Preparatory School$145,345
Kings Trail Elementary School$50,010
Parkwood Heights Elementary School$59,088
Holiday Hill Elementary School$57,341
Normandy Village Elementary School$60,600
Seabreeze Elementary School$56,738
Merrill Road Elementary School$65,576
Jacksonville Heights Elem. School$90,762
Beauclerc Elementary School$137,520
Lone Star Elementary School$91,152
Mamie Agnes Jones Elem. School$45,285
Sabal Palm Elementary School$153,325
Arlington Heights Elementary School$64,083
Louis S. Sheffield Elementary School$64,842
Neptune Beach Elementary School$104,316
Greenland Pines Elementary School$74,179
Pine Estates Elementary School$36,209
Twin Lakes Elementary Academy$107,756
Twin Lakes Middle Academy$166,249
Enterprise Learning Academy$73,015
Landmark Middle School$210,171
Alimacani Elementary School$121,605
Mandarin Oaks Elementary School$119,242
Mandarin Middle School$159,389
Mandarin High School$251,560
Abess Park Elementary School$102,702
Chet's Creek Elementary School$142,219
Lavilla Middle School for Performing Arts$100,000