Florida Gov. Rick Scott Presents $15 Million Check to Broward Schools

Schools getting money as part of state's School Recognition program

By Betty Yu and Brian Hamacher
|  Monday, Mar 11, 2013  |  Updated 12:56 PM EDT
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Florida Gov. Rick Scott presented a $15 million check to Broward Schools Monday as part of the state's School Recognition program. Piper Principal Enid Valdez, student Blaire Hirt and Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie comment.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott presented a $15 million check to Broward Schools Monday as part of the state's School Recognition program. Piper Principal Enid Valdez, student Blaire Hirt and Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie comment.

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Florida Gov. Rick Scott presented a $15 million check to Broward Schools Monday as part of the state's School Recognition program.

Scott presented the check during an appearance at Piper High School in Sunrise, where he noted that the county helps the state rank sixth in the country in terms of education quality.

"People around, they don't believe that our school system is accountable," Scott said. "I tell you, this school system is very accountable, it's based on student achievement, how you measure to improve."

The program recognizes and rewards high-performing schools that either receive an "A" on the state's grading formula, improve by a letter grade from the previous year or maintain their grade after improving by two letter grades the previous year.

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Florida has awarded about $134 million for the 2012 school year to almost 1,700 schools at a rate of about $93 per student, according to the Miami Herald. Scott has proposed the number increase to $125 per student next year.

Piper High School, which went from a "C" to an "A" in the last year, will receive $231,473 in funds.

"It's phenomenal, it's going to go toward technology, improving student programs, it's also recognizing faculty and staff for the work they've put forth," Piper Principal Enid Valdez said.

Each school will decide through their own committee how to use the money. At Piper, teachers voted to use the majority of the money to hand out bonuses to every employee, including cafeteria workers and custodians. The rest will go to purchasing materials for students.

"I know every single teacher has put in their own money, and my mom is a teacher as well and I know she spends so much money on making sure every student has a fair place in this school," student Blaire Hirt said.

Cypress Bay High School, in Weston, is the top earner for the year with $389,216, according to the Florida Department of Education.

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"We make sure that we got high quality teachers in our schools, we provide training and support to them, we give our students great opportunities and choices within our school system," Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said.

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