I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Select Escambia Schools to Receive $2.1 Million in Bonus Money

The Florida School Recognition Awards were a product of Governor Jeb Bush and his package of school reforms introduced in Florida the late 90s. The program is funded by lottery proceeds, and the rewards have become controversial and are opposed by some large Education Organizations and many Media Outlets. Compete details on this program can be found here.

For 2009, $122 Million will be distributed to select schools from Florida's 67 school districts. In Escambia County, 39 schools will receive proceeds from the school recognition program, totalling $2.1 million locally. A complete list of the recipient schools from Escambia County and the amount of each schools' reward can be found here.

Although many around the state have disdain for the recognition awards--I strongly support this program. I like the fact that individual schools are recognized for maintaining excellent school grades, and I believe these awards are an incentive for schools to maintain their "A" school letter grades; I also like the fact that this program rewards schools that make significant letter grade improvement on a year over year basis. In addition to these reasons, it is appealing that with this program, Individual schools get to decide how best to use the reward proceeds, within the guidelines mandated by the state.

Incentives work in the private sector, and they also work in the government sector.
And I guarantee this--even though teacher's unions may oppose bonus programs that do not reward "all members equally based exclusively upon length of service and educational attainment"--I guarantee the Escambia Teachers that will be receiving this bonus come the end of October (Between $800.00-$1,000.00 each, depending on how individual schools and their SACs decide to split up the awards)--- these teachers are glad to receive this team award cash and wholeheartedlty support this program!

Congratulations are in order for the local schools who have received this award for 2009!

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