FORT PIERCE, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis held a ceremonial signing for a bill encouraging childhood literacy Thursday morning.
The news conference took place at Indian River State College Thursday morning just over three weeks after he said he signed HB 3 into law. DeSantis said this ceremonial event was delayed due to the Surfside tragedy where a condo building collapsed.
“The program will deliver free books to students in grades K-5 who are reading below grade level, and to fully fund this initiative we allocated $200 million in the Florida leads budget. Each month they’ll receive a new hardcopy book to their home to help let them read and to improve their skills,” the governor said.
The program aims to get 90% of third-grade students on grade-level reading by 2030.
“We know that book-delivery programs like this are successful because they engage parents in the process, which helps improve the child’s reading and their overall success in school,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis said $270 million would go toward the state’s first book-distribution program.
This comes one day after the governor discussed the red tide bloom impacting the Tampa Bay area and the efforts to mitigate its impact. The governor touted the addition of a dedicated funding source within the annual budget to fund mitigation efforts dealing with red tide and other toxic algal blooms.