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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Still more steps for Florida teachers to get their Best and Brightest money

11

January

Florida teachers' road to their Best and Brightest bonuses isn't quite over yet.

Their districts still must formally apply for the money from the state, in order for the eligible teachers to get their share.

Superintendents got the documents they're supposed to fill out on Friday, and they have less than two weeks to get the information back to the Department of Education.

The state set a Jan. 19 deadline, "so funds may be disbursed to districts by the legislative deadline of February 1, 2016," according to the DOE memo.

The controversial bonus program, which many teachers criticized because of its reliance on their high school SAT or ACT scores, remains a focus on the state Legislature. On Wednesday, the Senate Education Committee is scheduled to conduct a workshop on the concept.

Lawmakers approved the measure for 2015-16 as a one-year budget allocation. If they want to continue it, they would have to set it in state law, which the House and Governor's Office have supported. The Senate has been less enthusiastic, and its bill is in place to give the senators a chance to debate the pros and cons of the policy.

The program's survival depends largely upon what happens in Senate Education, where some key Republicans including chairman John Legg and vice chairwoman Nancy Detert have expressed strong reservations. Stay tuned.

[Last modified: Monday, January 11, 2016 12:31pm]

    

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