Florida proud of efforts to educate 4-year-olds


Published: Friday, January 14, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 13, 2005 at 11:08 p.m.
This fall, all 4-year-old children in Florida will be able to attend for the first time and at no direct cost to parents a voluntary, high-quality pre-kindergarten program emphasizing literacy and allowing parental choice.
Children in the program will be prepared academically for the first day of school, getting a head start on the journey through the world of learning.
Research shows many children can benefit from early instruction, if it is done properly.
By evaluating the results continuously and making adjustments as we move forward, we fully intend to ensure the new system adequately prepares all children who participate.
Establishing a solid, voluntary pre-kindergarten system is vital to the future of Florida's youngest citizens and, thanks to the dedication of the members of the Legislature, we have made a strong first step in that direction.
The pre-K program that begins later this year will help our children develop the skills they need to become good readers and successful students.
Our program will give Florida's youngest children the math and reading readiness skills they need to become successful students.
The bill I signed includes high literacy standards, strict accountability, appropriate curricula, substantial instruction periods, manageable class sizes and qualified instructors, which are ingredients necessary for the success of the program and ultimately the success of our students.
The work is not done. It isn't perfect, and it isn't the final word on pre-K education in Florida. But it's a good start, and a critical part of our long-term education goals.
Jeb Bush, governor of Florida, Tallahassee

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