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DeSantis calls for pre-K improvements

File photo
File photo

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Pointing to a new report showing 42 percent of children who participated in the state’s voluntary pre-kindergarten program were not ready for kindergarten, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday directed Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran to come up with a plan for improvements.

“A 42 percent failure rate is simply not defendable and certainly not good enough for Florida’s youngest learners,” DeSantis said in a prepared statement. “I have asked Commissioner Corcoran to prioritize this issue and direct available funding to make enhancements.”

A news release from DeSantis’ office did not detail steps that might be taken.

“We must have a real accountability measure for all our school readiness programs,” Corcoran said in a prepared statement. “We are highlighting this data to serve as a rallying cry going forward that we will improve our early learning opportunities for students.”

Florida voters in 2002 passed a constitutional amendment requiring that all 4-year-old children be offered a free “high quality pre-kindergarten learning opportunity by the state.”

The program is offered through public and private schools.