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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Best and Brightest application period ends today



Today's the deadline for Florida teachers to apply for the controversial Best and Brightest bonus that lawmakers created in the spring.

Since its inception, the $44 million fund had been subjected to criticism over its criteria -- it's based in part on teachers' SAT or ACT scores -- as well as teachers' ability to comply with the rules. Finding and securing official records documenting their years-old test scores has proven difficult for many, while others scrambled to take the tests in the limited time frame.

Many offended teachers said they wouldn't bother. Many others decided to jump through the hoops to bolster their balance sheets. If 4,400 teachers are deemed eligible, each could get a $10,000 bonus.

That amount could be much lower, though. The Legislature said the $44 million would be prorated if more than 4,400 qualify, so everyone gets a share.

How many applied? 

Districts are still collecting the information, which doesn't need to go to the state until December.  In a small indication, 244 Pasco County teachers had submitted paperwork to get the money, with one day to go.

What did your teachers decide to do? Know of anyone who asked for a score report and didn't get it in time? We'd love to hear these experiences. Email to

[Last modified: Thursday, October 1, 2015 11:13am]


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