Private Capital Helping Public Schools
The Quality Education for All (QEA) Fund was introduced as a means to improve the highest-need public schools in Duval County. QEA initiatives were implemented during the 2014-2015 school year and thereafter to attract, recruit, and retain high-performing teachers and leaders within 36 of the district’s transformational schools. Raines, Ribault, and Jackson high schools, along with their 33 feeder-pattern schools, make up the transformation region supported by the QEA Fund. Initiatives were based on research that considered local student achievement data, an assessment of local resources and programs, community opinions, and the input of Duval County Public Schools’ Leadership.
The QEA Fund is a private-public collaboration of partners and donors that are investing $50 million in private dollars over the next five years. In partnership with The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida and the Jacksonville Public Education Fund, business leaders, philanthropists and Duval County Public Schools’ administrators are working together to implement a wide range of strategies to improve student achievement, and reduce the performance gap among the district’s schools.
The QEA Fund is housed at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida and overseen by an advisory group of the QEA Fund major donors, the Superintendent of Duval County Public Schools, and the Jacksonville Public Education Fund. The advisory committee meets regularly to monitor progress, recommend grants, and review operational goals. The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida has financial and programmatic oversight, the Jacksonville Public Education Fund is charged with administering the recommended grants, while Duval County Public Schools coordinates implementation and execution of the initiatives.
In an effort to increase the quality of human capital in schools in the Transformation Region, Duval County Public Schools, in collaboration with QEA, initiated a retention and recruitment incentive system that began during the 2014-2015 school year and will culminate the 2016-2017 year. Incentives were offered to high-performing teachers willing to commit to DTO schools for three years. For incentive specifics, please see documents at right.