VPK-Grade 3 Reading

Florida’s VPK-Grade 3 Reading legislation (SB 468 by Sen. Kelli Stargel and HB 757 by Rep. Byron Donalds and Rep. Jason Fischer) will lead to more students reading on grade level by providing additional training to teachers, reading coaches, principals VPK teachers, and by providing an optional extra year of VPK for struggling students who need more time to learn.

Background:


For the past several years, third grade reading performance has been stagnant in Florida. When looking specifically at English language learners and students with disabilities, performance is decreasing.

Florida is still seen as the national leader with its comprehensive K-3 reading policy to ensure all students are reading at or above grade level by the end of third grade. However, to ensure success of all students, we must reinvigorate our efforts and maintain a laser-like, statewide focus on reading. This bill: provides additional opportunities to assist young students who are struggling readers; provide additional training to teachers, reading coaches and school principals; and restores accountability to the Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) Education Program.

Bill Summary:


  • Directs the Florida Department of Education, in collaboration with the Office of Early Learning, to provide statewide training on effective research-based instructional strategies to all VPK - grade 3 teachers, reading coaches and school principals.
  • Requires that VPK providers provide parents with the results of required VPK pre- and post-assessments and resources to help their student within ten days of administration.
  • Requires the results of the VPK pre- and post-assessments to be reported (at the aggregate level) and distributed to school districts and each coalition as well as be displayed on the Office of Early Learning’s website within 30 days of administration. 
  • Restores accountability by requiring the Department to adopt a statewide single instrument for the kindergarten screening and that it be a direct assessment of early literacy skills.
  • Provides struggling VPK students with the opportunity to enroll in a second year of VPK. There is a cost savings to the state if a student participates in another year of VPK instead of enrolling in kindergarten at a public school. Statewide, the cost savings ranges from $48.1M to $168.3M.