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Report Card Released, Some Schools Make the Grade, Others Fail

July 8th, 2008 by flanews

School grades released today suggest Floridas schools are doing better than they were a year ago. But teachers are being laid off because of budget cuts and as Whitney Ray tells us, the future of Education in the sunshine state may not be so bright.

Hear it Here: Report Card Released, Some Schools Make the Grade, Others Fail

Kristen Roberts 6 year-old daughter would be in private school if her public school wasnt making the grade.

Since the grade is high up where we live that was definitely part of our decision making process, we factored that in, said Roberts.

The Florida Department of Education released its annual report grading schools based on FCAT results. More than half of the states schools received As. Overall grades were better this year than they were a year ago.

Five of the states worst schools were able to turn their programs around and raise their grades from an F to an A.

A four billion dollar state budget shortfall put a huge dent in education funding. Teachers are being laid off and programs are being cut. Even the state Commissioner of Education said schools need more money.

Good student achievement does require a financial commitment that will need to be recovered at some point in the future, but I think this year youre going to see the continued kind of effort youve seen in the past in Florida, that were going to move ahead and Im very optimistic about next years results, said Eric Smith, the state Commissioner of Education.

Floridas School Boards Association isnt as upbeat.

Were laying off people who working with our students everyday to improve the grades. I dont think you can continue to see this as a trend of schools going up if theres not additional funding coming from the legislature, said Wayne Blanton with the Florida School Boards Association.

If scores drop, job growth may slow because of new businesses not willing to gamble on a state with failing schools. Last year more than 80 Florida schools received Fs. This year just 45 received a failing grade. If you want to see if your childs school made the grade go to http://schoolgrades.fldoe.org

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