Cash incentives for teachers in struggling schools

Following Governor Ron DeSantis’ directive to recruit and maintain high quality teachers in areas of critical concern to our students, Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran today announced that the Florida Department of Education has allocated $15.8 million in federal funds to incentivize teachers with proven records of success to serve at Florida’s most fragile D or F schools.

Eligible teachers will receive as much as $15,000 in supplements. Escambia County has four D schools: Holm and Warrington Elementary and Workman and Warrington Middle.

“Every Florida student, regardless of their background or their family’s income, deserves great teachers who empower them to break down any impediments that encumber their life’s freedom,” said Commissioner Corcoran. “This is another way we are leveling the playing field for all Floridians, and we are thrilled for the opportunity to reward our state’s hard-working teachers in the process.”

· Eligible teachers are those who have earned a highly effective or effective rating based on the state’s value-added model calculation (when aggregated over 3 years) and teach at a Title 1 school with a 2019 school grade of “D” or “F” as of August 30, 2019.

·  Such teachers, who are rated highly effective in their VAM calculation, will receive up to a $15,000 supplement, and those teachers rated effective in their VAM calculation will receive up to a $7,500 supplement.

The Department is allocating these funds from the federal Unified School Improvement Grant (UniSIG) allocation, which is provided to states annually for the purpose of providing adequate resources to substantially raise the achievement of students in the lowest-performing schools.

“We must constantly challenge ourselves to find ways to more effectively spend our resources on what matters the most, getting every student in front of a great teacher and implementing ideas that drive great outcomes for our students,” said Commissioner Corcoran.

With $15K and $7.5K supplements, Superintendent Malcolm Thomas should be able to hire highly-effective teachers for these schools, particularly math teachers at Workman where only 4 percent of the eighth-graders were on grade level or higher.