Florida raced to $700 million in education funding
Governor Charlie Crist today joined students and teachers at, his alma mater, St. Petersburg High School, to celebrate Florida’s recent Race to the Top award, announced yesterday in Phase 2 of the national education reform competition. Florida will receive up to $700 million in education funding which will work toward improving the state’s lowest performing schools, rewarding Florida’s best teachers, and boosting student achievement.
“The Race to the Top award is a tremendous accomplishment and a boon for Florida’s students, teachers, and schools who are working to improve the quality of education in the Sunshine State,” said Governor Crist. “I am grateful to each member of the Race to the Top Working Group who answered my call to improve Florida’s application. Their effort helped Florida secure this achievement.”
Joining Governor Crist for today’s celebration were Pinellas County Schools Superintendent Dr. Julie Janssen, Florida Education Association President Andy Ford, St. Petersburg High School Principal Al Bennett, Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association President Kim Black, and Pinellas Classroom Teachers Association Executive Director Marshall Ogletree. During his remarks, Governor Crist emphasized that Race to the Top will help Florida continue to embrace bold ideas in education reform, allowing students and teachers to reach their full potential. Governor Crist also praised education stakeholders for their commitment to work together to build a better future for the children of our state.
Through the federal Race to the Top competition, the U.S. Department of Education challenged all 50 states to propose bold education reforms focused on helping struggling schools, elevating the effectiveness of teaching professionals and education leaders, building internationally recognized education standards and assessments, and improving state education data systems.
Earlier this year, Florida placed fourth in Phase 1 of the $4.35 billion federal Race to the Top education reform competition where only two states were awarded grants. To improve Florida’s application for Phase 2, Governor Crist appointed Florida’s Race to the Top Working Group in April 2010 to develop an improved Memorandum of Understanding. At the Governor’s direction, the working group built consensus to develop the Memorandum of Understanding that was later signed by 54 local teacher unions – as well as 65 of Florida’s 67 school districts, three of the state’s four developmental research schools and the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. In contrast, only five local teacher unions signed the Phase 1 Memorandum of Understanding.
Fifty percent of a state’s total award will be distributed to participating school districts according to a federal funding formula, and the remaining 50 percent will fund state-level projects benefiting all school districts statewide.
- Florida one of 16 finalists in Race to the Top competition
- Crist releases preliminary details on $22.7 billion state education budget
- Michelle Rhee is Gov. Rick Scott’s education advisor
- Gov. Crist signs Florida’s Race to the Top application
- Florida Department of Education releases year in review
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