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Press Release

Monday, March 25, 2013

Governor Scott Presents $2.5 Million in School Recognition Funds to Collier County Schools

- High student performance pays off for district's top schools -

Naples, Fla. Governor Rick Scott today acknowledged Collier County's public schools that have sustained high student performance or demonstrated substantial improvement in student performance by presenting a check totaling nearly $2.5 million in School Recognition Program funding to representatives from the Collier County school district. The check presentation took place before an audience of educators and community leaders at East Naples Middle School in Naples. Schools may use their award dollars for faculty or staff bonuses, to purchase educational equipment or materials, or hire temporary staff to help maintain or improve student performance. Statewide, school recognition funding totals more than $134 million.

Governor Scott said, "This $2.5 million will provide additional support for both the teachers and students of Collier County schools. Florida students and teachers were ranked 6th for educational quality, our fourth-grade students scored among the best in the world in an international reading survey, and Florida students are number one for percentage of students taking an AP exam. Our teachers have done a great job and that is why I have proposed to provide all fulltime classroom teachers a $2,500 pay raise.

"Our efforts at the state and local level to enhance the quality of our education system is working. In conjunction with our proposed $1.2 billion increase in educational funding as part of the Florida Families First Budget, the school recognition funding will allow our teachers and students in Collier County and across the state to continue on their path of success."

Florida's School Recognition Program acknowledges the quality of public schools by giving financial rewards based on sustained or significantly improved student achievement in reading, mathematics, science, and writing. Schools eligible for recognition awards include those receiving an "A" school grade, improving at least one letter grade from the previous year, or improving more than one letter grade and sustaining the improvement the following school year. Alternative schools that increase their school improvement rating or are rated "improving" also qualify for awards. The school staff and school advisory council at each recognized school jointly decide how to use the financial award.

"Governor Scott understands rewarding schools for performance promotes even higher achievement," said Commissioner of Education Dr. Tony Bennett. "His Florida Families First Budget calls for an even larger commitment to the School Recognition Program."

As part of his Florida Families First Budget, Governor Scott requested an increase in School Recognition Program funding to $125 per student, up from $93 this year. State funding for K-12 education in the Florida Families First Budget totals $10.7 billion - the highest state funding level in history. Included in this historic total is $480 million to support $2,500 pay raises for Florida's K-12 classroom teachers, plus the cost of associated benefits.

Total funding for K-12 education in the Florida Families First budget is $18.47 billion, an increase of $1.25 billion, or 7.3 percent, over last year's budget, which also invested $1 billion in K-12 education. This increase represents per student funding of $6,799, an increase of more than $400 over the current fiscal year.

"We are excited to have Governor Rick Scott visiting our school district again, this time to recognize our high-performing teachers and staff with more than $2.4 million in school recognition funds," said Collier Superintendent Dr. Kamela Patton. "We very much appreciate the Governor's continued support of public education, which he has personally demonstrated repeatedly here in our county."

"Student achievement is our top priority," said Collier School Board Chair Barbara Berry. "Our 3,200 Collier County Public Schools teachers and staff live our mission daily by providing exceptional educational opportunities that motivate and engage each student. The School Recognition Program is an outstanding way for the Governor to recognize our teachers for the work they do to help our students to achieve."

The School Recognition Program distribution for Collier County schools is below.

Collier School District Total $2,472,868
Barron Collier High School 165,264
Big Cypress Elementary School 83,739
Calusa Park Elementary School 87,853
Corkscrew Middle School 67,401
East Naples Middle School 95,678
Estates Elementary School 50,096
Everglades City School 13,881
Golden Gate Elementary School 70,479
Golden Terrace Elementary School 90,417
Gulf Coast High School 178,894
Gulfview Middle School 60,627
Lake Park Elementary School 50,051
Laurel Oak Elementary School 76,783
Lely Elementary School 71,430
Lely High School 135,466
Lorenzo Walker Technical High School 49,806
Manatee Elementary School 70,713
Marco Island Charter Middle 38,061
Mike Davis Elementary School 75,199
Naples Park Elementary School 56,172
New Beginnings - Naples 4,944
North Naples Middle School 85,096
Oakridge Middle School 98,233
Osceola Elementary School 59,111
Palmetto Elementary School 45,435
Pelican Marsh Elementary School 75,903
Pine Ridge Middle School 93,628
Pinecrest Elementary School 67,139
Poinciana Elementary School 68,397
Sea Gate Elementary School 77,734
Tommie Barfield Elementary School 56,266
Veterans Memorial Elementary School 79,312
Vineyards Elementary School 73,660