The Flagler County School Board this evening votes on whether to renew the Flagler Youth Orchestra for its 18th year. Renewal was not in question in previous years, as it has been this year. A former superintendent, parents, community members at large, current and former FYO student participants sent numerous letters and emails to school board members.
After two years of Covid, when the state did not grade schools and districts, Flagler County schools earned a grade of B this year, with only three of its schools earning an A and four earning a C. Two earned a B. It was a middling performance coming off the disruptions of the pandemic and a decline from the A the district had scored in 2019.
The percentage of Flagler County 3rd graders achieving a reading level of 3 (out of 5) or above–that is, reading at a satisfactory level–fell to 58 percent, the lowest level in at least seven years of comparable testing results, and down from last year’s 59 percent. Scores had peaked at 69 percent in 2017 and 68 percent in 2019, the year before the pandemic.
The Florida GOP is using the Parents’ Bill of Rights to weaponize a minority of insurrectionist parents against schools, giving parents the right to violate privacy and autonomy where it counts most at school: between students and teacher. No wonder there’s a teacher exodus. It’s just what the GOP wants. Destruction from within.
Just 59 percent of third graders in Flagler County scored a satisfactory level 3 or better on the Florida Standards Assessment in reading last schoolyear, a nine-point drop from the last time the tests were administered, but statewide students learning remote did slightly better than those learning at school.
The Senate on Monday passed a measure that could lead to state colleges and universities sponsoring charter schools. Senators voted 29-11 to approve the bill (SB 1028), which would allow higher institutions, after receiving the go-ahead from the Department of Education, to solicit applications for charter schools.
Even as they push a $106 million proposal to improve civics education, our legislators and our governor persist in violating the Constitution by supporting legislation authorizing programs to send nearly $1 billion to private, religious schools in our state.
The measure (SB 48), filed by Republican Sen. Manny Diaz of Hialeah, would expand eligibility for school-voucher programs and allow parents to use taxpayer-backed education savings accounts for private schools and other costs.
There’s been 184 new cases in the last 14 days alone in Flagler, and 28 positive cases in the Flagler County school district through today since school reopened on Aug. 24, half of them at Old Kings Elementary, as a renewed spike has the local health department chief concerned.
Fewer than half the district’s students took seats in actual classrooms and 10,000 attended one of Flagler schools’ three options overall, a 23 percent decline from the district’s usual enrollment. If there was a measure of excitement about being back, there was also apprehension, uncertainty, many unanswered questions.