Special Teachers Are Rewarded
a magnificent opportunity — for students, for teachers, for families,
for Florida — to say 'We reward teachers who move students forward, we
celebrate success!' This represents the next step in rethinking
teaching and learning, and it is a step well-taken.�
Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education
Special Teachers Are Rewarded (STAR) Program Proviso
From the funds in Specific Appropriation 91, $147,500,000 is provided for
the Special Teachers Are Rewarded performance pay plan (STAR Plan). Funds shall
be distributed to school districts for performance pay rewards to instructional
personnel as defined in section 1012.01(2) (a)-(d), Florida Statutes, in all
K-12 schools in the district, in accordance with the requirements of section
1012.22, Florida Statutes. STAR Plan funds shall be allocated based on each
district's proportion of the state total K-12 base funding, subject to
review and approval by the State Board of Education of the district's
STAR Plan. The district's STAR Plan may include information from the
district's instructional personnel assessment system, and shall include
instructional personnel evaluation based on the performance of their students.
The Department of Education shall develop model methodologies that ensure fairness
and equity for all instructional personnel, and shall provide technical assistance
Each school district that chooses to participate in the STAR Plan shall submit
its comprehensive STAR Plan, which shall include rewards for elementary, middle,
and high school instructional personnel, to the State Board of Education by
December 31, 2006. Any charter school that does not follow the district's
salary schedule may submit a separate proposal with the district's plan.
Charter school proposals shall be included with the district plans or may be
submitted independently if the district does not submit a plan. Districts that
do not submit a plan by December 31, 2006, shall not be eligible to receive
STAR Plan funds. The State Board shall review each district's STAR Plan
within 45 days of receipt and shall approve the plan or request revisions.
If requesting revisions, the State Board must identify the specific area(s)
of the proposed plan needing revision. Districts must submit their revised
plan by March 1, 2007. The State Board shall review the revised plan and may
either approve the revised plan or deny the district eligibility to receive
STAR Plan funds for the 2006-2007 fiscal year. STAR Plan funds shall not be
recalculated during the fiscal year except that funds allocated for districts
that fail to adopt approved STAR Plans by April 1, 2007, shall be redistributed
to those districts that have approved plans in place by the required date.
The redistribution calculation shall be verified by the Florida Education Finance
Program Appropriation Allocation Conference.
District STAR Plans must meet the following guidelines:
- Eligibility - All instructional personnel are automatically eligible to
receive rewards for improved student achievement without having to apply.
- Determination of number of rewards - The district plan shall utilize funds
received under this program for rewards of at least 5 percent of the base pay
of the best performing 25 percent of instructional personnel. Districts shall
use any remaining funds to provide bonuses to additional instructional personnel
or school-based leaders pursuant to their plans. District school boards are
encouraged to provide additional rewards to instructional personnel they determine
to be outstanding. District school boards shall distribute funds for State
Board approved charter school plans to charter schools based on each charter
school's proportion of the district's total K-12 base funding.
- Evaluation instrument - Each district school board shall select or develop
an evaluation instrument. The instrument's primary determining factor
shall be the evaluation of improved student achievement. The instrument's
factors shall be scored using the following categories, or categories that
are substantially similar in number and connotation: unsatisfactory, needs
improvement, satisfactory, high-performing, and outstanding. Instructional
personnel must receive no unsatisfactory or needs improvement ratings and may
receive no more than one satisfactory rating on the areas evaluated in order
to receive a reward.
- Instructional personnel evaluation based on student performance - District
school boards shall determine appropriate methods to evaluate instructional
personnel based on the performance of their students. The methods must measure
improved student achievement during the course of the school year; and must
be approved by the State Board of Education.
- Evaluation of improved student achievement for instructional personnel linked
by course numbers to instruction in reading or math shall be determined by
a standardized test.
- Evaluation of improved student achievement for instructional personnel not
linked by course numbers to instruction in reading or math shall be determined
by instruments that measure the Sunshine State Standards for the area, including
challenging grade-level content and critical thinking skills. District school
boards shall develop methods to evaluate improved student achievement in specialized
areas, including exceptional student education, fine arts, career and technical
education, and other specialties so that all instructional personnel are eligible
- Evaluation of improved student achievement for secondary instructional personnel
linked by course number to instruction in social studies or science may be
assessed by a standardized test; by linking improved student achievement in
reading or mathematics of the students enrolled in the instructional personnel's
social studies or science class, as measured by a standardized test; or by
instruments that measure the Sunshine State Standards for the area, including
challenging grade-level content and critical thinking skills.
District school board STAR Plan proposals may include a methodology for performance
pay rewards for district-selected school-based leaders who supervise or directly
assist the instructional personnel whose student achievement results in a STAR