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Gov. DeSantis promises more money to schools to help close COVID achievement gaps

Photo: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has announced $289 million additional dollars for schools to help them close achievement gaps incurred during the COVID pandemic. 

The money will support a number of initiatives that are meant to help close learning gaps caused by two years of the COVID pandemic. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis says that includes funding for reading coaches, STEM and math acceleration programs, parent mentorship training, and mental health resources. 

DeSantis says the bulk of the funding will go toward after-school, weekend and summer learning camps.

“Any type of achievement gap you know we want to work on addressing. I think what we've seen in the data is that the math proficiency kind of suffered the most with with COVID and and so we want to make sure districts are able to remedy that.”

Outgoing Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran says these programs will be aimed at the most struggling students. 

“Despite all that's happening, we're going to find a way to move forward. We're going to find a way to have after-school programs, year-round, summer, intensive learning camps, supports for parents. Now parents are going to actually be able to partner and work with their teachers and, and doing those things necessary to get their children to be not back to where they were, but to go beyond where they were.”

The Florida legislature has already approved $200 million in "special school recognition funds" for 55 school districts in Florida that didn’t enforce face masks for students.

Notably missing from that list? Central Florida school districts like Orange, Volusia and Brevard County Schools who required masks.


Danielle Prieur is WMFE's education reporter.