$44 million improvement grant for Florida’s lowest-performing 5% schools

The Florida Department of Education is putting across $44 million in Federal Unified School Improvement Grant funds to aid 149 struggling public schools, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday. The funds will focus on supporting improvement initiatives in the lowest-performing 5% schools in Florida.

Teachers at these schools that have earned highly effective or effective ratings may potentially receive up to $15,000. Whereas, principals may be given up to $45,000 for recruitment/retention and performance. Furthermore, one assistant principal from the school may also qualify for $10,000 for recruitment/retention.

The schools will be receiving funds for multiple purposes; each school will receive up to $100,000 to fund an Early Literacy Coach to oversee the adoption and efficient development of English Language Arts B.E.S.T Standards for 2021-2022.

The schools will also be receiving up to $30,000 to fund supplemental teacher professional development and instructional materials to support the B.E.S.T. Standards adoption and implementation.

In addition to that, each school will be getting up to $100,000 that will fund school-based Strategic Initiatives Coach to support B.E.ST Standards adoption. These individuals will be responsible for continuous reviewal of the real-time progress monitoring data that will be submitted to guide instructional support and teacher practices.

“It can be hard for struggling schools to recruit and retain top talent, and today I’m proud to announce $44 million to address this problem,” DeSantis said in a statement announcing the distribution of federal funding. “I have consistently said that the number one way to create great opportunities for our students is by ensuring they have great teachers. In Florida, we will continue to take a strategic, data-driven approach to make our schools the best in the country.”

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