Florida’s School Recognition Program:

Technical Assistance for Martin County Schools

Developed by: Martin County Education Association

Introduction In an effort to ease the divisive environment frequently caused by Florida’s School Recognition Program within Martin County schools, Martin County Education Association has developed the following guidance to be used in allocating and spending any money received through this program. This guidance contains the actual statutory provisions for decisions regarding this money and answers to frequently asked questions. Any individual or group of individuals should be given the opportunity to present a plan to the faculty for due consideration on how this money is to be distributed at their school site. If you need any help or have further questions regarding this money, please do not hesitate to contact the MCEA office.
Florida Statutes on School Recognition Money 1008.36 Florida School Recognition Program
(1) The Legislature finds that there is a need for a performance incentive program for outstanding faculty and staff in highly productive schools. The Legislature further finds that performance-based incentives are commonplace in the private sector and should be infused into the public sector as a reward for productivity.(2) The Florida School Recognition Program is created to provide financial awards to public schools that:(a) Sustain high performance by receiving a school grade of "A,” making excellent progress; or(b) Demonstrate exemplary improvement due to innovation and effort by improving a letter grade.(3) All public schools, including charter schools, that receive a school grade pursuant to Section 1008.34, are eligible to participate in the program.(4) All selected schools shall receive financial awards depending on the availability of funds appropriated and the number and size of schools selected to receive an award. Funds must be distributed to the school’s fiscal agent and placed in the school’s account and must be used for purposes listed in subsection (5) as determined jointly by the school’s staff and school advisory council. If school staff and the school advisory council cannot reach agreement by February 1, the awards must be equally distributed to all classroom teachers currently teaching in the school. If a school selected to receive a school recognition award is no longer in existence at the time the award is paid, the district school superintendent shall distribute the funds to teachers who taught at the school in the previous year in the form of a bonus. (Underlined sections were amended in 2010 to accommodate the significant changes to the formula, components and timeframes for grading high schools)(5) School recognition awards must be used for the following:(a) Nonrecurring bonuses to the faculty and staff;(b) Nonrecurring expenditures for educational equipment or materials to assist in maintaining and improving student performance; or(c) Temporary personnel for the school to assist in maintaining and improving student performance.Notwithstanding statutory provisions to the contrary, incentive awards are not subject to collective bargaining.