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Ninety-six SWFL schools get $13M via School Recognition Program

LA Johnson/NPR

More than $200 million in awards will be going via Florida's School Recognition Program to 1,400 schools across the state that demonstrated student growth and teaching excellence in the 2021-22 school year.

To be eligible, schools must receive a school grade of “A” or improve at least one letter grade from the prior year.

The awards were announced Monday by Governor Ron DeSantis as many SWFL schools restarted their academic year.

In Southwest Florida, 96 schools received $13 million:

  • 24 Sarasota County schools, including Toledo Blade Elementary, will receive $3.8 million;
  • 27 Lee County schools will receive $3.6 million;
  • 38 Collier County schools will receive $5 million;
  • 6 Charlotte County schools will receive just over $600,000; and
  • Bowling Green Elementary in Hardee County will receive $54,000.

To view the full list of awards, click here.

“I was glad to award more than $200 million to 1,400 schools that demonstrated student growth and teaching excellence over the past year,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “These awards can be used to give our hard-working teachers bonuses, and are particularly important in Southwest Florida where they will go a long way toward helping our teachers in the area get back on their feet.”

“It was great to award Toledo Blade Elementary with nearly $150,000 in school recognition funds, which is a testament to their commitment to academic excellence,” said Education Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr. “I am also proud of the work they have done to quickly get kids back in the classroom. None of this would be possible without the leadership of Governor Ron DeSantis, the efforts of state leaders, and the resiliency of district leadership and staff.”

Schools can use the funding for a variety of provisions, including:

  • Bonuses to the faculty and staff;
  • Educational equipment or materials to assist in maintaining and improving student performance; or
  • Temporary personnel for the school to assist in maintaining and improving student performance.

The exact distribution of funds is determined by the school’s staff and school advisory council.

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