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Best and Brightest Update

This page contains information related to the Best and Brightest Program for the 2019-20 school year as implemented by Senate Bill 7070.

 

If you are looking for information regarding the Best and Brightest Settlement resulting from FEA’s 2017 lawsuit, click here.


As part of Senate Bill 7070, all of the previous requirements for Best and Brightest were scrapped, and the program now has three components. For the sake of ease, we will address each of them separately.

Recruitment Bonus: $4,000 one time bonus

K-12 classroom teacher who meets all of the following criteria:

  • Is “newly-hired”
  • Is a “content expert” in mathematics, science, computer science, reading or civics.
    • However, the law does not stipulate the teacher must teach one of those content areas; just that the teacher must be a “context expert” in math, science, computer science, reading, or civics.
  • Neither the term “newly-hired” nor “content expert” are defined in law, the Department of Education has still not defined “newly-hired.”
  • The State Board did pass a board rule in an emergency meeting on July 29th in which they defined “content expert.” You can read the definition here. 
  • FEA still has questions about this bonus (and asked several questions during the emergency board meeting). The Department of Education has released a list of Frequently Asked Questions which you can find here. 

Retention Bonus: $2,500 for Highly Effective/$1,000 for Effective

K-12 classroom teacher who meets all of the following criteria:

  • Rated Highly Effective or Effective
  • Taught in the same school for two consecutive years.
    • To receive the funds in the 2019-20 school year, the teacher must have taught at a qualifying school for both the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years
  • Taught in a school that “improved an average of three percentage points or more in the percentage of total possible points achieved for determining school grades over the prior three years.” The list of schools can be found here. Below is a breakdown of the percentages of schools that are eligible by school grade
    • 710 out of 1,180 A schools  (60%)
    • 516 out of 908 B schools (57%)
    • 486 out of 1,064 C schools (45%)
    • 30  out of 158  D schools(18%)

Recognition Bonus:  The bonus amount is not specified.

K-12 instructional personnel who meet all of the following criteria:

  • Rated highly effective or effective
  • Selected by their school principal.
  • The law does not provide criteria by which principals are to select teachers but does require school boards to adopt policies to determine the criteria.
  • However, this does not mean principals can give this money out however they want. FEA maintains that since the bonus is compensation, the policies by which the recognition bonus is awarded should be negotiated.
  • The recognition bonus would be paid out with whatever funds are remaining after the recruitment and retention bonuses have been allocated.
  • Instructional personnel are defined in state statue as K-12 personnel including the following: classroom teachers, student personnel services, librarian/media specialists, other instructional staff, and paraprofessionals.
  • While the “recognition” bonus does expand the eligible pool, prekindergarten teachers and many education staff professionals are still left out of all three bonus programs.

Florida Teacher Pay Sinks in National Rankings

New data released today shows Florida’s average teacher pay dropped from being ranked #48 in the nation last year to #50 (out of the 50 states and D.C., only West…

Read more about Florida Teacher Pay Sinks in National Rankings

Statement Re. State Board of Education Meeting: “Teachers and education staff are tired of being vilified.”

Today, the Florida Education Association released a statement following the state board of education meeting held in Winter Park.“FEA, our members and their local unions fight every single day to…

Read more about Statement Re. State Board of Education Meeting: “Teachers and education staff are tired of being vilified.”

Statement on Signing of SB 1746: “Florida’s leaders continue to stand in the way of workers fighting for better life.”

Today, Governor Ron DeSantis’ signed into law an anti-worker bill (SB 1746) sponsored by Senator Blaise Ingoglia (R-11) that would place additional mandates on any person seeking to join their…

Read more about Statement on Signing of SB 1746: “Florida’s leaders continue to stand in the way of workers fighting for better life.”

FEA leadership: We stand united for our students

Let us say first, we are honored to lead this organization and to have you as a member.

Read more about FEA leadership: We stand united for our students

Help for kids who are hurting

Through Steve’s Club, Cori Lake Walls wants to ensure no grieving student goes unnoticed or unheard

Read more about Help for kids who are hurting

$1,200 worth of turkeys and a lot of love

Lakisha Ayers-White and her student volunteers provide supplies for Thanksgiving dinners with all the trimmings to dozens of union families

Read more about $1,200 worth of turkeys and a lot of love