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Low-performing Big Bend area schools to receive improvement funds

'School closures should be off the table,' Gov. Ron DeSantis says
Posted at 3:26 PM, Jul 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-14 15:27:12-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Governor Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday that the Florida Department of Education awarded $44 million in federal Unified School Improvement Grant (UniSIG) funds to support struggling public schools.

The funds provided through UniSIG will be used to support school improvement initiatives in Florida’s lowest-performing five percent of schools in 149 schools in 29 districts.

In the Big Bend area that includes:

  • Gadsden County
    • Chattahoochee Elementary School
    • Gadsden County High School
    • West Gadsden Middle School
  • Jefferson County
    • Jefferson County Elementary A Somerset Charter School
  • Leon County
    • Bond Elementary School
    • Griffin Middle School
    • John G Riley Elementary School
  • Madison County
    • Madison County High School
  • Wakulla County
    • Wakulla Coast Charter School Of Arts Science & Technology

“It can be hard for struggling schools to recruit and retain top talent, and today I’m proud to announce $44 million to address this problem,” said DeSantis. “I have consistently said that the number one way to create great opportunities for our students is by ensuring they have great teachers. In Florida, we will continue to take a strategic, data-driven approach to make our schools the best in the country.”

Teachers at these low-performing schools who have earned highly effective or effective ratings may receive up to $15,000.

Principals may qualify for up to $45,000 for recruitment/retention and performance. One assistant principal from the school may also qualify for $10,000 for recruitment/retention.

Each school will receive up to $100,000 to fund an Early Literacy Coach to support the 2021-2022 adoption of and professional development for the English Language Arts B.E.S.T. Standards.

Each school will receive up to $100,000 to fund a school-based Strategic Initiatives Coach to support the B.E.S.T. Standards adoption. These individuals will continuously review the submission of real-time progress monitoring data to guide instructional support and teacher practices.

Each school will receive up to $30,000 to fund supplemental teacher professional development and instructional materials to support the B.E.S.T. Standards adoption and implementation.

For a full list of UniSIG award recipients, click here.