21 Polk County public schools getting a cut of $44 million from the state



Crystal Lake Elementary School | Screenshot via Google Maps








$44 million. That’s how much the state Department of Education awarded to 149 schools throughout the state, 21 of which are in Polk County.

The funds, given from the Unified School Improvement Grant, are going to Florida’s most vulnerable schools, or those that are the lowest-performing 5%.

Polk schools receiving aid are:

  • Alta Vista Elementary School
  • Ben Hill Griffin Jr. Elementary School
  • Crystal Lake Elementary School
  • Denison Middle School
  • Dixieland Elementary School
  • Eastside Elementary School
  • Fred G. Garner Elementary School
  • Griffin Elementary School
  • Inwood Elementary School
  • James E. Stephen Elementary School
  • Jesse Keen Elementary School
  • John Snively Elementary
  • Kingsford Elementary School
  • Laurel Elementary School
  • Mclaughlin Middle School and Fine Arts Academy
  • Oscar J. Pope Elementary School
  • Palmetto Elementary School
  • Phillip O’Brien Elementary School
  • Purcell Elementary School
  • Spook Hill Elementary School
  • Tenoroc High School

So, where exactly is the money going? Although PCPS has yet to share exactly how the funds will be applied, the state’s release suggests the following uses:

  • Effective or highly effective teachers could receive up to $15,000.
  • Principals may receive up to $45,000 for recruitment, retention, and performance.
  • At each school, 1 assistant principal could receive up to $10,000 for recruitment and retention.
  • Up to $100,000 for a literacy coach and the implementation of ELA B.E.S.T. Standards per school.
  • Up to $100,000 for a strategic initiatives coach per school. 
  • Up to $30,000 for professional development + instructional materials for teachers.

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