Putting Education Reform To The Test

Six Florida School Districts Share $66 Million Grant for Training, Salary Increase


Lee County Public Schools hold the 2nd annual STEM-tastic event for students and parents.

We’re learning more about the six Florida school districts that will get a share of more than $66 million from the U.S. Department of Education.

The grants are from the 2012 Teacher Incentive Fund. The money will cover increased salaries and training for educators in high-poverty schools — 35 districts chosen from across the country.

Florida Deputy Chancellor for Educator Quality Kathy Hebda said in a press release, “We know that successful schools start with talented educators and leaders. I congratulate these districts for being recognized as leaders in this important work, and I am excited to see their plans put into practice.”

Here are Florida’s winners:

  • Broward County Public Schools -$18,155,918
  • Gilchrist County Public Schools -$3,906,468
  • Hillsborough County Public Schools -$16,799,498 
  • Lee County Public Schools — $17,632,764
  • Miami-Dade County Public Schools -$2,511,636
  • Orange County Public Schools (STEM Focus) — $7,403,161

Award amounts represent the first two years of funding over a five-year grant period.

Districts were urged to boost salaries through one of two models: career ladders or performance-based pay with the option for additional responsibilities.

They could submit a general proposal or one based on STEM fields – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

For example, Lee County’s project will focus on “improving teacher and administrator effectiveness in high-need schools in order to improve student achievement.” Twenty elementary schools, five middle schools, and seven high schools were chosen in the district.

DOE said teachers helped develop Florida’s proposals, which will provide opportunities for leadership and career advancement. They also created evaluations based on several measures including student growth.


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