PreK children miss out on needed funds. In this Orlando Sentinel article, you will read that for the third year in a row, state funds for little children remain stagnant. There are 169,000 Florida four year olds in VPK. This is about 78% of eligible children. The budget is $394 million or $2,437 per child. This is one of the largest number of children who receive state support for VPK in the nation, but it is one of the smallest amount of money per student. As you might expect, standards are low, and many teachers have no college education. Programs that can raise money in their communities, but the reality is that quality varies widely.
In 2014, Representative Marlene O’Toole sponsored a bill in the legislature to raise standards and improve quality. It died in session. Maybe next year will be a preK year. It is up to the voters to help the legislature set priorities. The League needs to get the word out.