Education Information


Special Teachers Are Rewarded

�What 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.�

Gene Hickok
Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education

Special Teachers Are Rewarded (STAR) Program Proviso

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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 upon request.

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.

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District STAR Plans must meet the following guidelines:

  1. Eligibility - All instructional personnel are automatically eligible to receive rewards for improved student achievement without having to apply.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
    1. 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.
    2. 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 for rewards.
    3. 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 Plan reward.

 

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