The Florida School Recognition Program provides public recognition and financial awards to schools that have sustained high student performance or schools that demonstrate substantial improvement in student performance. The program was created by the Florida Legislature in 1997 and funds were first appropriated for awards in 1998. The A+ Plan for Education standardized program criteria and awards in 1999.
Schools eligible for recognition awards include those receiving an “A” school grade, improving at least one letter grade from the previous year, or improving more than one letter grade and sustaining the improvement the following school year. Alternative schools that increase their school improvement rating or are rated “Improving” also qualify for awards.
As previously announced in February, Hendry schools will receive $132,183 of $123 million distributed to 1,500 schools around Florida. Glades county received $99,539 in recognition funds.
Florida schools received a major portion of funding from the state. In 1973 the Florida Legislature enacted the Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP) and established the state policy on equalized funding to guarantee to each student in the Florida public education system the availability of programs and services appropriate to his or her educational needs that are substantially equal to those available to any similar student notwithstanding geographic differences and varying local economic factors.
To equalize educational opportunities, the FEFP formula recognizes: (1) varying local property tax bases; (2) varying education program costs; (3) varying costs of living; and (4) varying costs for equivalent educational programs due to sparsity and dispersion of the student population.
The FEFP is the primary mechanism for funding the operating costs of Florida school districts.