Senator Linda Stewart (D – Orange County) today passed HB 891, the house companion to SB 1564, unanimously on the Senate floor. The house bill was introduced by Representative Patricia Williams (D – Broward County).
This bill will establish a year-round school pilot program for a period of 4 years in order to help the Department of Education make decisions regarding instituting year-round school programs for elementary schools. School districts may apply to participate in this voluntary program and 5 districts will be chosen to participate by the Commissioner of Education.
“We are always striving to improve our public education for the following generations and I believe this program marks another step in that direction. The data from this program will help the FLDOE make more informed decisions toward improving our schools and quality of education. This bill also helps to address the students who may have fallen behind during the COVID-19 pandemic by presenting a probable solution,” said Stewart.
The chosen school districts will be required to provide data regarding aspects of the implementation of the program as well as its academic and safety benefits. Upon completion of the study, the Commissioner must provide a report to the Governor and the Legislature and recommendations regarding applicability of year round school in the future.
“46% of our students are reading below grade level. This great piece of legislation is optional but is a missing tool to the toolbox to bridge the gap. When this bill becomes law it would be the additional tool that’ll assist students who are struggling more than others and in need of that additional help. We can’t continue to do the same things over and over again and expecting something different!” said Williams.