PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — The Bay District School Board allocated $5 million to help seven of its struggling schools Tuesday. 

“We have six elementary schools and Rutherford, six K-12 that have been identified by the state of Florida as what we call CSI or comprehensive support improvement,” Bay District Schools Director of Elementary Instructional Services Keri Weatherly said. “And so they have additional requirements from the state in order to increase student achievement.”

Cedar Grove, Lucille Moore, Cherry Street, Parker, and Waller Elementary Schools were all given a ‘D’ by the Florida Department of Education.

Rutherford’s Middle and High School also received ‘D’s.

And Callaway Elementary School received an ‘F’ for the second year. 

“We know that by attracting the best of the best, that is what is going to have the biggest impact on student achievement at those schools,” Weatherly said. “And so this is an incentive for those teachers. A little extra in their paycheck ranges from 10,000 to 15,000, depending on whether they agree to transfer to a tier-one or a tier-two school”.

Not all teachers, however, will be eligible to receive the extra pay. 

“We want the teachers to be in the classroom in front of the kids,” Weatherly said. “We want the best of the best. There are some additional requirements as far as their evaluation scores. You know, we want our highly effective and effective teachers in front of our most fragile students.”

The areas of learning the state uses to determine a school’s grade will also be important.

“At the elementary level, the school grade really is the components are reading math and science,” Weatherly said. “So those are outlined in the MoU (memorandum of understanding) because we want it to be one of the to ensure that all the teachers that are directly impacting that school grade were included.”

Weatherly said she is confident school grades will improve. 

Bay Districts Schools will hold a job fair to help fill these positions next Tuesday, March 28, from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Nelson Building in Panama City.