books_web.jpgMIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ Miami-Dade Public Schools, the nation's fourth largest school district, will be handing out Florida's first Race to the Top merit pay checks for teachers.

The teachers will be recognized Monday at Miami Beach Senior High School and awarded checks of up to $25,000 for advancing student achievement.

Money for the district's merit pay plan is being funded by Race to the Top, the federal grant competition that awarded Florida $700 million last year.

Districts in winning states around the country are implementing new teacher evaluations, but Miami-Dade appears to be one of the first to hand out merit pay checks. The district says is the first to do so in the state of Florida as well.