New law doles out $158 million to school districts to up math, reading scores
Schoolgirl choosing book in school library. Smart girl selecting literature for reading. Books on shelves in bookstore. Learning from books. School education. Benefits of everyday reading. Child curiosity. Back to school

Schoolgirl choosing book in school library. Smart girl selecting literature for reading. Books on shelves in bookstore. Learning from books. School education. Benefits of everyday reading. Child curiosity. Back to school
Gov. Ron DeSantis quietly signed the bill Wednesday

Florida lawmakers wanted to take aim at students’ poor math and reading skills and passed sweeping legislation that puts new requirements on schools.

Also included in the bill (HB 7039) is $158 million to help make it happen.

Gov. Ron DeSantis quietly signed the bill, sponsored by Rep. Dana Trabulsy, into law Wednesday.

The new law requires schools to identify any student in kindergarten through 4th grade who exhibits a substantial deficiency in mathematics or the characteristics of dyscalculia and to provide an individual education plan or an individualized progress monitor plan to address the issue.

The bill follows the release of National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) measures showing scores for students in 4th and 8th grade declined in 2022.

NAEP presents assessment results of student performance in two ways in The Nation’s Report Card: average scores on the NAEP subject scale, and percentages of students attaining NAEP achievement levels.

The math assessments test knowledge and skills associated with number properties and operations, measurement; geometry; data analysis, statistics and probability, and algebra.

The NAEP 2022 math results show 41% of 4th-grade students performing at or above the NAEP proficiency level, a 10-point increase from 2019 results. Florida’s 8th-grade students who performed at or above the NAEP proficiency level was 23%, down from 31% in 2019.

Statewide, mathematics assessments maintained by the state also paint a less than rosy picture with 45% of students in grades 3-8 performing below grade level, according to the Department of Education’s FSA Mathematics and EOCs Assessment Results.

The law also aims to improve Florida’s reading scores.

Results from the 2022 NAEP show that 39% of grade 4 students and 29% of 8th-grade students in Florida are performing at or above the NAEP proficiency levels. Results from the 2022 Florida statewide, standardized English Language Arts (ELA) assessments, show that 48% of students in grades 3-10 are performing below grade level.

To combat lackluster reading levels, the new law expands parental notification requirements to require the school to immediately notify the parent of any kindergarten through grade 3 student who exhibits the characteristics of dyslexia.

School districts will be required to describe how they are assigning highly effective teachers to kindergarten through grade 2 classrooms as well as how they are assigning reading coaches to the schools in their districts.

Florida also joins Arkansas and Louisiana in banning what’s known as three cueing. The concept encourages children to draw on context and sentence structure, along with letters, to identify words they don’t know, thereby downplaying phonics. Three cueing is embedded in curriculum materials used to teach students to read and is taught as a strategy in teacher preparation programs across the United States

Christine Jordan Sexton

Tallahassee-based health care reporter who focuses on health care policy and the politics behind it. Medicaid, health insurance, workers’ compensation, and business and professional regulation are just a few of the things that keep me busy.


  • KD

    May 18, 2023 at 9:22 am

    Again all these laws and expenses and hate addressed toward school age children that only account for 15% of the state population! $158Mfor this, $12M to send immigrants from the state. In the meantime, the insurance rates which DeSantis and the GOP legislature failed to address has sky rocketed through the roof for the 85% of Floridians! It is also expected to go even higher in the coming years since tge rest of Florida will have insurance rates raised to bail out the victims of Ian. DeSantis and the GOP legislative majority have done irreparable harm to the state and it has all been politically motivated. GOP voters wake up and smell the coffee this administration and congress have ruined the state! It is going and has become unaffordable to live in this bigoted state. Think next time you vote and vote for officials that won’t for all these political laws and expensive costs that aren’t benefiting Floridians.

  • Dont Say FLA

    May 18, 2023 at 12:00 pm

    You can throw money at the math and reading problems, but books are the real solution. Reading the books, not burning them.

Comments are closed.


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