County Commissioner calls school grades across Leon County a 'crisis'

By: Lanetra Bennett | WCTV Eyewitness News
July 24, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- More than 60% of school children in Leon County's title one schools tested below grade level according to the Florida Department of Education.

Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor is calling those numbers a crisis.

Proctor spoke out during a Wednesday press conference at the Leon County Courthouse, saying he's expecting over the next five years for every school on the southside to become an "A" school.

He also said beginning with next year, no school will be below a "C".

Commissioner Proctor says it's going to take hard work between schools, parents, churches and the community to get there.

Currently, he says, things are at a crisis level; 16 Leon County schools are "C" schools, three have received a "D".

Proctor says with 70% of southside residents reading below grade average, futures are at stake.

"These numbers are large and they tell you across the street, the legislature is building jails on the trajectory on what people are doing in this category on a third grade reading level," he said.

Leon County Schools Superintendent Rocky Hanna released the following statement Wednesday;

"We are proud of the hard work being done in our schools every day. Our schools have made a tremendous progress this year, especially our Title I schools with four of them achieving a B grade from the Florida Department of Education. To say otherwise is disingenuous.

As with any organization there is always room for improvement and we understand there is work to be done.

We welcome members of our community and elected officials to visit our schools and meet with our administrative teams to see firsthand the amazing taking place on our campuses. Together, we will continue to build a world-class school system where all of our schools and students reach their full potential."

Commissioner Proctor has invited the Superintendent and the community to a Southside Student Success conference, with a goal of coming up with a strategic plan to enhance academic performance.

That conference will be held at Bethel Family Center at 6 p.m. next Thursday.

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