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MIAMI(CBSMiami) — Legislative leaders finalized a budget this week that includes $44 million used to award “scholarships” of as much as $10,000 to teachers based on their ACT or SAT scores.
The House approved a bill (HB 587) during this spring’s regular legislative session that would have created the “Florida Best and Brightest Teacher Scholarship Program,” but the measure did not pass the Senate.
The issue, however, re-emerged during a special session called to approve a budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1st.
House and Senate leaders finished negotiating the spending plan late Monday, and the full House and Senate are expected to vote on the budget Friday.
Under the scholarship provision, a maximum of 4,402 teachers could be eligible for $10,000 scholarships “based on high academic achievement on the SAT or ACT.
“The teachers would have to show that they scored at or above the 80th percentile on the college-entrance exams at the time they were tested. Current teachers also would have to show that they have been evaluated as “highly effective.”
If the number of teachers exceeds 4,402, the scholarship amounts would be prorated.
(The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.)