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When Gov. Rock Scott announced last week he was doling out $134.6 million in state money to almost 1,700 schools in Florida for excellent performance in education, there was a little surprise in story for five Levy County schools.
“There was more money than we expected,” said Levy County Schools Superintendent Bob Hastings. “It was like 30 percent more than we expected.”
Hastings said the schools were expecting about $70 per student from the School Recognition Program, but instead received about $93 per student.
The five schools — Cedar Key, Chiefland and Williston high schools and Chiefland and Williston middle schools — received a total of $189,740 from the program.
The program recognizes public schools with financial rewards based on sustained or significantly improved student achievement in reading, mathematics, science and writing. Schools eligible for recognition awards include those receiving an “A” school grade, improving at least one letter grade from the previous year, or improving more than one letter grade and sustaining the improvement the following school year.
The school staff and school advisory council at each school has already decided how the money will be spent and the Levy County School Board has approved the spending plans. The money can go toward faculty and staff bonuses or to purchase educational equipment or materials or to hiring staff to help maintain and improve performance.
Hastings did not say whether any alterations will have to be made for the extra money the district received, just that “It was a pleasant surprise.”
The breakdown by school:
Cedar Key High — $20,489
Chiefland High — $42,949
Chiefland Middle — $31098
Williston High — $54,564
Williston Middle — $40,660.