Today's Choice for Tomorrow's Future

FL Best and Brightest Program

Information

The State of Florida has revised the Florida Best and Brightest Teacher Program (F.S. 1012.731) to recruit, retain, and recognize teachers who meet the needs of this state and have achieved success in the classroom.  Also revised is the Florida Best and Brightest Principal Program (F.S. 1012.732) to identify and award school principals whose schools make noticeable academic improvement.

*Update* The State Board of Education will hold a rule development workshop on October 7, 2019 with the intent of clarifying the criteria for identifying content experts for eligibility concerning the Best and Brightest recruitment award. We will continue to update information on this web page as it is made available.

The following awards have been established for the 2019-2020 school year.

Award Type Amount* How to Qualify
Recruitment Up to $4,000
  • Be a classroom teacher that is newly-hired in the current school year.
  • Be a "content expert" in math, science, computer science, reading, or civics.
Retention (Highly Effective) Up to $2,500
  • Be a classroom teacher that has taught at an eligible school for at least 2 consecutive school years, including the current school year.
  • Received a summative rating of Highly Effective for the 2018-19 school year.
Retention (Effective) Up to $1,000
  • Be a classroom teacher that has taught at an eligible school for at least 2 consecutive school years, including the current school year.
  • Received a summative rating of Effective for the 2018-19 school year.
Recognition TBD
  • Per statute, school districts will establish eligibility criteria for this award.
  • Award amounts are to be determined after all other awards have been paid.
Principal Up to $5,000
  • Be a school principal that has served as principal at an eligible school for at least 4 consecutive school years, including the current school year.


*Awards received through this Program are subject to applicable employer and employee payroll taxes, and will be adjusted accordingly. Final amounts may also be prorated based on the total number of eligible employees and available funds.

Additional Resources

Eligible Schools

Based on school performance and as determined by the Florida Department of Education, for the 2019-2020 school year, the following Lake County Schools are eligible for the Retention award as outlined in the Florida Best and Brightest Teacher Program, as well as the award outlined in the Florida Best and Brightest Principal Program.

Elementary Schools

  • Cypress Ridge Elementary School
  • Eustis Heights Elementary School
  • Leesburg Elementary School
  • Lost Lake Elementary School
  • Pine Ridge Elementary School
  • Sawgrass Bay Elementary School
  • Seminole Springs Elementary School

Middle Schools

  • East Ridge Middle School
  • Mt. Dora Middle School
  • Tavares Middle School
  • Umatilla Middle School
  • Windy Hill Middle School

High Schools

  • Lake Minneola High School
  • South Lake High School
  • Tavares High School

Charter Schools

  • Minneola Charter School
  • Round Lake Charter School
  • Spring Creek Charter School

The list of eligible schools was released on September 20, 2019, and can be accessed at
http://www.fldoe.org/core/fileparse.php/5306/urlt/bestandbrightest-rp.xls.

FAQ

This page will be updated as more information is made available.

Do I need to request SAT/ACT scores?

No.  As of the 2019-20 school year, the current version of the statute has eliminated this requirement. 

How do I apply for the Program?

Applications are only necessary for teachers interested in qualifying for the Recruitment award.  Please visit the How to Apply tab on this page for more information.

All teachers and principals will be reviewed automatically for the Retention, Recognition, and Principal awards. No application will be required for these award types.

How do I qualify for the Recognition award?

Per statute, school districts will establish teacher eligibility criteria for the Recognition award. We will post qualifications for this award once they have been established.

How is a school determined eligible for the Retention award?

To be considered an eligible school, overall school performance (as measured by Florida school grades) at a school must have improved an average of three (3) percentage points or more in the percentage of total possible points achieved for determining school grades over the prior (3) years.

To ensure the maximum number of eligible teachers, the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) established three separate calculation methods to identify which schools meet this requirement.

The FLDOE has published a short guide explaining the calculation methods, and can be accessed at
https://info.fldoe.org/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-8600/dps-2019-109a.pdf

The list of eligible schools was released on September 20, 2019, and can be accessed at
http://www.fldoe.org/core/fileparse.php/5306/urlt/bestandbrightest-rp.xls.

If I qualified for the $7,200 award last year, can I qualify for that award this year?

No. The State of Florida has revised the Florida Best and Brightest Teacher Program (F.S. 1012.731) to recruit, retain, and recognize teachers who meet the needs of this state and have achieved success in the classroom. As such, this particular award no longer exists, and individuals who were eligible under previous rules should no longer assume continued eligibility each school year.

You will need to review the current award types and eligibility criteria on the Information tab of this page for information on qualifying for an award in this school year.

Is there a deadline for applying to the Program?

The District received updated information from the Florida Department of Education on September 20, 2019 regarding program implementation. We are currently reviewing the changes and revisions to the Florida Best and Brightest Teacher Program for the 2019-2020 school year, and will update this information in the coming weeks.

What is the definition of a "classroom teacher"?

Per F.S. 1012.01(2)(a), a classroom teacher is defined as any K-12 staff member assigned the professional activity of instructing students in courses in classroom situations, including basic instruction, exceptional student education, and career education.

Your job assignment will need to be in alignment with one of the aforementioned instructional areas in order to be considered for the Recruitment or Retention awards set forth in the Florida Best and Brightest Teacher Program.

Note that regarding the Florida Best and Brightest Teacher Program, the definition of a classroom teacher was clarified by the Florida Department of Education as K-12 staff members only. As such, Pre-K and Adult Education teachers are not eligible for the Program.

Additionally, non-classroom teachers and staff members do not meet the definition of a classroom teacher, and cannot be considered for the Recruitment or Retention awards set forth in the Florida Best and Brightest Teacher Program. These include, but are not limited to: student services personnel, librarians/media specialists, program specialists, resource teachers, instructional coaches, adjunct educators, and paraprofessionals.

What is the definition of a "content expert"?

*Update* The State Board of Education will hold a rule development workshop on October 7, 2019 with the intent of clarifying the criteria for identifying content experts for eligibility concerning the Best and Brightest recruitment award. The guidelines outlined below are those that are currently published. These qualifications may change in accordance with rule updates as enacted by the State Board of Education.

Rule 6AER19-01 was established to define "Content Expert" in the areas of Mathematics, Science, Computer Science, Reading or Civics for the Recruitment award set forth in the Florida Best and Brightest Teacher Program

You must meet one of the following requirements in order to be considered a "content expert"

  • Hold a valid Florida educator’s certificate in one of the specified content areas as set forth in Rule 6A-1.0503(2)(a).
  • Hold a Master’s degree in one of the specified content areas.
  • Hold a Bachelor’s degree in one of the specified content areas AND have five (5) years of teaching or work-related experience in the associated area.

Additionally, acceptable degree majors are also specified for some of the content areas:

  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Computer Science
  • Reading - English, English literature, reading, or literacy instruction.
  • Civics - political science, American history, social studies, or social science.

What is the definition of a "newly hired" teacher?

For the purposes of the Florida Best and Brightest Teacher Program, Lake County Schools defines a "newly hired" teacher as being newly hired by the District for the current school year (on or after July 1, 2019), regardless of prior years of teaching experience.

How to Apply

The District received updated information from the Florida Department of Education on September 20, 2019 regarding program implementation. We are currently reviewing the changes and revisions to the Florida Best and Brightest Teacher Program for the 2019-2020 school year, and will update this information in the coming weeks.