State awards schools millions in 'recognition' funds


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Schools in northeast Florida that significantly improved reading, math, science and writing scores will share in $12 million in school recognition funding, Gov. Rick Scott announced Monday.

It's part of $134.6 million the state Department of Education awards to Florida schools that either achieved "A" grades or improved one letter grade from the previous year.  Each school receives $93 per student.

Duval County will receive $5.6 million for improved schools, Clay County will get $2.3 million and $2 million will go to St. Johns.  Nassau County schools will receive $872,866, Flagler schools will get $853,316 and Baker schools will receive $472,300.

"Schools that demonstrate improved performance for students should be rewarded for their hard work," said Gov. Rick Scott in a statement. "This investment of $134 million for schools across Florida will build on the recent gains that teachers have made for Florida students by providing each and every child with a quality education, so our students can one day find a great job and live their version of the American Dream."

The governor noted this comes less a week after Florida learned that Florida students are number one for percentage of students taking an AP exam and a Quality Counts survey was released showing the Sunshine State jumped from 11th to sixth in the country for the overall quality of its education system.

The school staff and school advisory council at each recognized school jointly decides how to use the financial award. Schools may use their award for faculty or staff bonuses, to purchase educational equipment or materials or hire temporary staff to help maintain or improve student performance.