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DeSantis is promising more money for schools to help close COVID achievement gaps

Cybersecurity Education
Chris O'Meara/AP
/
AP
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a news conference at the University of South Florida Wednesday, March 2, 2022, in Tampa.

The governor says initiatives will include reading coaches, STEM and math acceleration programs, parent mentorship training and mental health resources.

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

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 ... we want to work on addressing," the governor says. "I think what we’ve seen in the data is that the math proficiency kind of suffered the most with COVID, and so we want to make sure districts are able to remedy that.”

Outgoing state 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," Corcoran says. "We’re going to find a way to have after-school programs; year-round, summer, intensive learning camps; support for parents. Now, parents are going to actually be able to partner and work with their teachers 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 Legislature has already approved $200 million in special school recognition funds for 55 school districts that followed state directives by not enforcing masks for students.