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PRESS RELEASE

September 5, 2003

Frances Marine
(850) 245-0413

Education Commissioner Jim Horne Presents Turie T. Small Elementary School With School Recognition Dollars
Horne Presents Check for $46,206; Schools statewide receive $137.5 million in school recognition funds this year

DAYTONA BEACH — Education Commissioner Jim Horne yesterday presented Turie T. Small Elementary School in Volusia County a check for $46,206 in school recognition funds. The school improved its school grade from a "B" to an "A" during the 2002-03 academic year.

"It is my pleasure to present this check to our schools that have worked so hard to achieve this level of student achievement," said Commissioner Horne. "We know our students can learn and this proves it. Governor Bush's A+ Plan and his commitment to education demonstrate that our students continue to meet and exceed our expectations. I congratulate the administrators, teachers, students, and parents for their outstanding efforts."

Turie T. Small Elementary has 87 percent of students receiving free- and reduced-priced lunch, with 67 percent making learning gains in reading, 86 percent making learning gains in math, and 87 percent meeting high standards in writing. In addition, 67 percent of students in the lowest performing 25th percentile made learning gains in reading.

The A+ School Recognition Program acknowledges 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 2002-2003 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.

In addition to Turie T. Small Elementary, 54 other Volusia County schools received $4.8 million dollars in school recognition dollars for earning an "A" or showing improvement. Recognition funds can be used by a school to cover the costs of non-recurring faculty and student incentives such as pizza parties, educational equipment, or hiring temporary personnel to assist in maintaining and improving student performance.

Since 1999, $443.3 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:

  • A+/RISING STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT: From 1998 to 2003, Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) reading scores have improved significantly for students in Florida. Minority students have made the most dramatic improvements. For example, this year 60 percent of all 4th graders met or surpassed the proficient level (scoring Level 3 and above) on the FCAT reading, up from 51 percent in 1998. Other 4th grade improvements include: 41 percent of African American students scored at or above grade level in 2003 compared to 23 percent in 1998. 51 percent of Hispanic students scored at or above grade level in 2003 compared to 38 percent in 1998. 73 percent of white students scored at or above grade level in 2003 compared to 65 percent in 1998.
  • A+ PLAN/SCHOOL GRADES: The results of the FCAT released in May revealed the biggest improvement in student achievement to date. The number of schools receiving a grade of "A" or "B" rose from 1,447 in 2002 to 1,799 this year, while the number of "D" and "F" schools dropped from 249 in 2002 to 176 this year. The Governor's Assistance Plus program continues to provide failing schools with additional resources to address their areas of weakness. In addition to increased funding - approximately $1,000 more per student - failing schools receive school improvement facilitators, reading coaches, and technical assistance, as well as assessments to monitor student progress.
  • FUNDING INCREASES: A five-year funding increase of more than $3.7 billion - 34 percent - which far surpasses Florida's significant student growth in the same period of 11 percent. Per student funding has increased by $989 in five years, a 20 percent increase.
  • MENTORING: Currently there are more than 135,000 mentors statewide. Governor Bush has set a goal of 200,000 mentors throughout the state. The budget signed by the Governor this year allocates $12.25 million to support mentoring through such programs as Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Clubs, the Governor's Mentoring Initiative, Take Stock in Children and Best Buddies.
  • JUST READ, FLORIDA!: In fiscal year 2003-2004, this initiative received $25 million a 127 percent increase over fiscal year 2002-2003. The initiative 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. The program, unveiled in 2001, prioritizes reading in Florida's public schools and among all the community groups and volunteer organizations that support them.
  • ADVANCED PLACEMENT/PSAT-SAT SCORES: Florida's high school students continue to show improvement on standardized placement tests. The latest results show the number of SAT test takers in Florida increased 10 percent to more than 83,400 - the highest ever. Florida's average verbal score rose two points, due largely to higher scores among Hispanic, African American and Asian males. Results indicate students who take advanced courses have significantly higher scores. The number of Advanced Placement (AP) test takers increased by 19 percent, compared to 10 percent for the U.S. In addition, 14 percent of all public school sophomore PSAT takers are Floridians.

    Commissioner Horne visited Turie T. Small Elementary on the first leg of a two-day tour of schools in Polk, Volusia, Alachua, Escambia, Okaloosa, and Jackson Counties.

    A list of Volusia County schools receiving school recognition funds is below.

    Bonner Elementary School$47,416
    Blue Lake Elementary School$58,304
    Tomoka Elementary School$94,314
    Pathways Elementary School$57,142
    Pine Trail Elementary School$73,869
    Holly Hill Middle School $95,930
    Chisholm Elementary School $41,763
    Ormond Beach Elementary School$29,460
    Coronado Beach Elementary School$34,400
    DeLand High School$273,184
    Woodward Avenue Elementary School$70,408
    DeLand Middle School$148,775
    Louise S. McInnis Elementary School$44,550
    Deltona Middle School$139,515
    Deltona Lakes Elementary School $96,954
    Enterprise Elementary School$59,735
    Osteen elementary School $70,552
    Palm Terrace Elementary School$67,450
    Holly Hill Elementary School$72,753
    Walter A. Hurst Elementary School$49,052
    R.J. Longstreet Elementary School $44,450
    Silver Springs Middle School$135,366
    Horizon Elementary School $85,058
    George W. Marks Elementary School$80,273
    Indian River Elementary School$70,958
    New Smyrna Beach Middle School$160,800
    W. F. Burns Oak Hill Elementary School$18,550
    Orange City Elementary School$75,212
    Ormond Beach Middle School $176,001
    Ortona Elementary School $28,805
    Spruce Creek High School $240,935
    Spruce Creek Elementary School$71,216
    Sugar Hill Elementary School$83,770
    Osceola Elementary School $52,314
    Pierson Elementary School $45,800
    Port Orange Elementary School$46,700
    Atlantic High School$148,743
    Sweetwater Elementary School$99,494
    Read-Pattillo Elementary School$51,655
    Samsula Elementary School $25,200
    Turie T. Small Elementary School$46,206
    South Daytona Elementary School$87,420
    Southwestern Middle School $66,101
    Edith I. Starke Elementary School$42,926
    Discovery Elementary School $84,064
    Timbercrest Elementary School$111,070
    Galaxy Middle School$167,481
    Sunrise Elementary School $84,372
    Friendship Elementary$86,150
    Pine Ridge High School$230,967
    Forest Lake Elementary School$79,694
    DeBary Elementary School $98,353
    Heritage Middle School$139,467
    Freedom Elementary School $55,932
    Creekside Middle School$121,266
    Volusia County Total $4,868,295