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PRESS RELEASE

September 28, 2007

Tom Butler
(850) 245-0413

Florida Schools Receive $129.3 Million in Funding for Outstanding Academic Performance
~More than 1,600 schools statewide earn school recognition funding~

TALLAHASSEE — Education Commissioner Jeanine Blomberg today announced $129.3 million in funding to 1,612 Florida schools in recognition of their academic achievement and improvement during the 2006-2007 school year. Under the state’s School Recognition Program, schools that achieve an "A" based on the school grading criteria or improve at least one grade from the previous year are awarded $100 per student. Since the program began in 1999, Florida has awarded more than $982 million in school recognition funding.

“It is a pleasure to honor these schools for the superior academic performance and improvement shown by their students last year,” said Commissioner Blomberg. “Through their accomplishments, we can clearly see that hard work, inspirational teaching and a commitment to student achievement are true catalysts for success.”

Recognition funds are allocated based on a joint decision by the school’s staff and school advisory council. These funds can be used by a school for non-recurring faculty bonuses, educational equipment, new technology or hiring temporary personnel to assist in maintaining and improving student performance.

The Florida School Recognition Program has had a positive effect on schools maintaining and improving grades. In 2007, a total of 1,137 schools maintained an “A,” 38 new schools earned an “A,” 305 schools improved to an “A” and 118 schools improved to a grade other than an “A.” In addition, a new provision introduced in law last year enables K-3 “feeder schools” (schools that do not earn a school grade and serve any combination of students in kindergarten through third grade) to receive school recognition funding based on the performance of the school that receives at least 60 percent of the K-3 school’s promoted third graders. Fourteen “feeder schools” earned school recognition funding this year.

For Florida's struggling schools, the Assistance Plus program provides funding, resources and support to address areas of weakness. Additionally, failing schools receive school improvement facilitators, reading coaches, technical assistance and assessments to monitor student progress.

To view a list of schools receiving recognition funding and amounts visit, http://www.fldoe.org/evaluation/schrmain.asp.