300 Central Fla. elementary schools to have extended hours

Hours connected to FCAT scores

The legislature passed a funding bill that would require 300 elementary schools with the lowest FCAT reading scores, to have an extra hour of school for reading instruction.

"It would be a sacrifice," Kimberly Reading who has a son in Orange County Schools said. 

Her son wont take the FCAT until next school year, but she said the sacrifice would be about scheduling. 

"Rearranging logistics, pick-up times, and after school care," she said.

For the last year, 100 schools had extended hours but that will now triple.

Local 6 reached out to all of the school districts in Central Florida and got statements from four.

A spokesperson from Orange County Schools released a statement saying, "We agree with the policy that is being mandated by the state, but it does not provide the additional money the districts need to make it happen," Shari Bobinski told Local 6.

A Marion County spokesman agreed. 

" We have 2 of those schools out of 100 and the extra hour has been a tremendous help. I just hope if they decide to expand the list that they expand the funding as well," said Kevin Christian of Marion County school board.

A Volusia spokesperson says the extended hours are helpful. 

"We operate 8 schools with an extended one hour a day," Nancy Wait wrote.  "We consider them extremely successful for all the students."

Brevard County does not believe any of its schools will be in the bottom 300, according to a spokesperson.

Students just completed the FCAT.  It will likely be the end of summer before schools know how they rank.

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