This post is meant to provide you with all of the available information related to the 2019-2020 distribution of state Best and Brightest Bonus Program funds.
***CTA Disclaimer*** Like you, FEA, NEA, AFT, PBCCTA, and every other local teachers union in the state of Florida find this program to be offensive and nonsensical. We have lobbied since the creation of the original Best and Brightest Bonus Program to have it eliminated and to have the funds diverted into general appropriations to each local school district. Doing so would allow us to negotiate over these funds for legitimate raise purposes. To date, the legislature has refused to consider such a change and instead favor teacher bonus schemes of this nature each legislative session. Just this past week, Governor Ron DeSantis came forward stating he believes the new version of Best and Brightest is too confusing, leaves too many teachers out of the recipient pool, and simply does not justify perpetuating the current formatting of the bonus program. He plans to offer his own plan in the coming weeks that will likely be used as a template for the next version of Best and Brightest, to be created in the 2020 legislative session.***
Please review the following for a basic explanation of the latest version of the Florida Best and Brightest Bonus Program:
- Recruitment Award – To be eligible for a one-time recruitment award, a newly hired classroom teacher must be a “content expert,” based on criteria established by the department, in mathematics, science, computer science, reading or civics. (This bonus is NOT NEGOTIABLE and mandated by state law.)
- Retention Award – To be eligible for a retention award, a classroom teacher must have been rated as highly effective or effective the preceding year pursuant to section 1012.34, Florida Statutes, and teach in a school for 2 consecutive school years, including the current year, which has improved an average of 3 percentage points or more in the percentage of total possible points achieved for determining school grades over the prior 3 years. (This bonus is NOT NEGOTIABLE and mandated by state law.)
- Principal Award -A school principal is eligible to receive an award if he or she has served as school principal at his or her
school for at least four consecutive school years, including the current school year, and the school has improved an average of 3 percentage points or more in the percentage of total possible points achieved for determining school grades over the prior three years. The methodology for determining which schools qualify for consideration is the same as it is for the teacher retention award. (This bonus is NOT NEGOTIABLE and mandated by state law.)
- Recognition Award – To be eligible for a recognition award, instructional personnel must be rated as highly effective or effective, and be selected by his or her school principal, based on performance criteria and policies adopted by the district school board or charter school governing board. This bonus is derived from any leftover funds (if there are any remaining) once the “recruitment”, “retention”, and “principal” awards are all paid out. (This bonus IS NEGOTIABLE and will be addressed by the CTA/SDPBC once funds have been dispersed to the school district and mandatory bonuses have been paid out. After mandatory bonuses have been allocated, only then will the amount of the remainder of funds be known and negotiable.)
The following link contains a list of ALL schools in the state of Florida that qualify for Best and Brightest “recognition” bonuses for the 2019-2020 school year.
The documents below provide the latest interpretations of the rewritten Best and Brightest Scholarship Bonus program from the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE).