Funding Student Achievement
Florida leads the nation in rewarding success and recognizing rigor by funding districts’ success and student achievement through the state’s performance funding model, the Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP). This year, Florida protected funding for crucial programs and advanced reforms that move the Sunshine state towards completion based funding rather than seat-time funding.
HB 7059 – Passed
Funding Accelerated Learning
Recognizing and rewarding student learning instead of just seat-time is the next step towards providing every Florida student a quality education that is customized to meet their unique learning style and pace. The Legislature voted this year to make full funding for specific core courses contingent upon a student demonstrating mastery of the course material. This makes Florida one of the first states in the nation to link funding to student mastery on a statewide end end-of-course exam rather than the number of hours spent in the classroom.
- Establishes accelerated learning options for K-12 students, requiring each school to offer whole grade and midyear promotions, subject-matter acceleration, virtual instruction in higher grade level subjects, and the credit acceleration program.
- Funds each student in grades 9-12 for a total of 24 credits, allowing high school students to graduate in fewer than four years if the student has completed a minimum of 24 credits and meets the general requirements for graduation.
- Requires school districts to offer accelerated graduation options to high school students.
- Incentivizes school districts to encourage students to take an end-of-course assessment in lieu of the course if the student has already mastered content, rewarding student achievement over seat-time.
Budget – Passed
Lawmakers continued Florida’s historic investment in education by maintaining strong funding for programs to incentivize and reward student learning.
- School Recognition Program: Increased the budget for Florida’s School Recognition Program, which rewards student achievement by providing up to $100 per student directly to schools that earn an A or improve a letter grade.
- Reading: Increased funding for reading by $48 million, dedicating $30 million of this to provide an extra hour of instruction daily by effective teachers or reading specialists to the 100 schools with the lowest performance on the state reading assessment. Once those provisions are met, this money will fund reading intervention teachers for K-5, reading coaches to specifically support teachers, summer reading camps for struggling readers, and reading interventions for any K-12 student reading below grade level.
- Assessment and Evaluation: Funded quality assessments and development and implementation of end-of-course exams.
- Funding Choice:
- Protected the current charter school capital outlay funding.
- Increased funding to $5,200 per student for virtual education to ensure high quality and diverse virtual education options.
- Assistance to Low-Performing Schools: Provided direct line item funding at $3.5 million for the College Board Partnership, which provides professional development for teachers to teach more rigorous AP classes in Florida’s schools.