The application process has begun for a new state scholarship designed to help kids who are struggling with reading.
Passed into law this spring as part of a larger education bill, the scholarships will give $500 to students who score below the Level 3 passing grade on the state's third and fourth-grade reading exam.
The money can be used to reimburse parents for tuition for part-time tutoring; or fees for summer and after-school programs designed to improve reading or literacy skills.
About 187,000 students in Florida scored below Level 3 on the language arts section of the Florida Standards Assessments in 2018.
The Florida Legislature appropriated $9.7 million for the program. The scholarships are available on a first-come, first-served basis. English Language Learners will receive first priority.
Parents may apply at www.stepupforstudents.org.