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Accountability & Reporting

Florida School Recognition Program FAQ

For 2017, awards were distributed in October 2017.

According to Section 1008.36(5), F.S., "Notwithstanding statutory provision to the contrary, incentive awards are not subject to collective bargaining."

Yes. The school’s staff and SAC may decide to give them bonuses.

Yes. They were employed at the school when the school earned this award. Therefore, the school’s staff and SAC may give them bonuses if the decision is made before February 1.

Yes. Section 1008.36(4), F.S., states that if the school’s staff and the school advisory council cannot reach agreement by February 1, the awards must be equally distributed to all classroom teachers currently teaching in the school.

Funds are to be used for nonrecurring bonuses to the faculty and staff, nonrecurring expenditures for educational equipment or materials, or for temporary personnel to assist the school in maintaining or improving student performance (Section 1008.36(5), F.S.). The school's staff and SAC must decide to spend these funds on one or any combination of these three purposes. If the school's staff and SAC decide to give bonuses, they determine who is to receive them and how much each person will receive. The decision on the use of funds must not conflict with any district or state policies on expenditure of funds.

The legislation does not specify a decision making process. Therefore, guidelines for determining how the decision is made by the school's staff and SAC and for resolving any conflicts in reaching the decision may be developed at the local level. Determining a step-by-step process ahead of time may help expedite making this decision.

The legislation gives the award school's staff and school advisory council (SAC) the authority to make this decision. If a charter school does not have a SAC, the governing body of the school should participate in the council's stead, along with the staff of the school, in determining the use of funds.

The Department of Education includes a list of recognized schools with award amounts by district on the Florida School Recognition Program website.

School districts will place these funds in a school account at the district level and the funds will be immediately available when the school's staff and school advisory council decide how to use the award money. These funds are not to be placed in a school's internal accounts.

The Florida School Recognition Program provides public recognition and financial awards to schools that have sustained high student performance or schools that demonstrate substantial improvement in student performance. The program was created by the Florida Legislature in 1997 and funds were first appropriated for awards in 1998. The A+ Plan for Education standardized program criteria and awards in 1999.

The 2017 Florida School Recognition Program recognized and provided financial awards to a total of 1,723 schools.

Yes, for schools providing regular instruction. Section 1008.36(3), F.S., specifies that the School Recognition Program use school performance grade categories. By provision of s. 1008.341(2)(c), F.S., alternative schools (as well as ESE centers) that receive a school improvement rating of “improving” or improve at least one level are also eligible for school recognition.

The Department of Education will ask award schools to provide information on successful programs and practices to share with other schools. In addition, school districts will report on how financial awards were used by each recognized school.

No. Eligibility for an award is based solely on meeting the program criteria.

For 2017, the total amount awarded to all schools for the School Recognition Program was $129,169,667.

Section 1008.36, F.S., authorizes the Florida School Recognition program. 

For performance demonstrated in 2016-17, each recognized school will receive up to $100 per full-time equivalent (FTE) student based on the October 2016-17 enrollment count.

  • Schools that sustain high performance by receiving a school grade of "A;” or
  • Schools that demonstrate exemplary improvement due to innovation and effort by improving at least one letter grade; or
  • Schools that improve more than one letter grade and sustain the improvement the following school year; or
  • Schools designated as alternative or ESE center schools that receive a school improvement rating of “Commendable” or improve at least one level.