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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida school recognition funds on their way, Department of Education says



Teachers and other school employees who have long anticipated a bonus from the state's A-Plus plan shouldn't have to wait much longer.

The money should be delivered to school districts on Tuesday, according to the Florida Department of Education.

School grade appeals have been reviewed, and the 2015 grades are now formalized. So the $134.6 million can be distributed to the eligible schools, including those who earned an A and those who improved their grades.

Schools will get $97.04 per full-time equivalent student, representing the prorated amount based on the number of qualified campuses. It had been anticipated the award would be $100 per FTE student.

The vast majority of schools elect each year to distribute the recognition funds as bonuses to teachers and other staff members. The money also can be used to purchase equipment and materials, and to pay for temporary staffing.

In the past the debates over how to use the funds has led to campus discord, but in recent times schools generally have avoided clashes by adopting a plan and then repeating it whenever they receive an award.

If the school community did not reach a consensus for a plan and submit it by Feb. 1, though, the law sets a default distribution to only teachers who are currently at the school.

Want to see how much money each school is getting? Check out this chart for the details.

Lawmakers already have allocated a similar amount for 2016 school recognition. The funding is expected to be delivered much sooner this year.

[Last modified: Monday, April 25, 2016 9:40am]


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