Polk County jail agrees on education for juvenile inmates

Students in jail will receive 5 hours of school a day

BARTOW, Fla. - The Southern Poverty Law Center and a central Florida school district have agreed to ensure that children held at a county jail receive five hours of daily classroom instruction as required by law.

The agreement announced Tuesday also requires math and reading evaluations for children entering Polk County's jail. It resolves complaints filed against the Polk County School Board on behalf of two students at the jail.

The staff attorney at the law center's Florida office said students at the jail received as little as an hour of teaching a day. Stephanie Langer said all the students received the same materials regardless of their abilities.

Langer said children who left the jail were often held back when they returned to school. She said that increased their rate of recidivism.

Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.