At the end of last week, Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis called on parents and schools throughout the state to take advantage of more than 8,000 Reading Scholarships available through the Florida Department of Education to help public school students in grades 3-5 improve their reading skills.
DeSantis said that more than 5,600 students and their parents have already taken advantage of these Reading Scholarships during the current school year. She also announced that ABCmouse will be launching a pilot program for their Mastering Math app and will soon announce the launch of their Mastering Reading app. Both pilots, which allow students to learn basic skills at their own pace, will be offered at no cost to Florida students in prekindergarten through second grade.
“I am proud to support the governor’s bold steps toward making education a priority,” said DeSantis. “Today is about bringing the public and private sectors together to ensure that Florida’s children have the support and resources they need to excel academically. Strong reading and learning skills are critical to student success in all aspects of life, and we are committed to continually pushing forward to create the best education experience for all Florida students.”
“A huge thank you to First Lady Casey DeSantis for championing this great opportunity for Florida families,” said Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran. “We know that every student can learn. Currently according to NAEP, Florida is ranked number 6 in 4th grade reading nationwide. These Reading Scholarship accounts are going to enable us to help thousands of students who are struggling. I look forward to announcing the more than 8,000 scholarships available that will ensure we are giving students every opportunity they need to thrive.”
The Reading Scholarship is administered through the Department of Education by Step Up for Students. The eligible expenditures for reimbursement are:
- Instructional materials;
- Tuition and fees for part-time tutoring services. The services shall be provided by a person who holds a valid teaching certificate pursuant to s. 1012.56, F.S.; a person who holds an adjunct teaching certificate pursuant to s. 1012.57; or a person who has demonstrated a mastery of subject area knowledge pursuant to s. 1012.56 (5);
- Fees for specialized summer education programs designed to improve reading or literacy skills; and Fees for after-school education programs designed to improve reading or literacy skills.