School District of Palm Beach County presents 5-year strategic p - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

School District of Palm Beach County presents 5-year strategic plan

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla-- When it comes to reading, it's the math that's shocking.

Nearly half of Palm Beach County third graders cannot read at a third grade level.

However, the District is trying to change that.

Friday, Superintendent Dr. Robert Avossa presented a 5-year strategic plan for the School District.

It's a plan that addresses this crucial issue.

"There are states that literally predict the number of prison beds they need based on third grade reading level," said Avossa.

The goal is to get 75 percent of third graders on the right reading level.

Avossa says the first step is investment in early education and pre-K programs.

"The reality is we've got a lot of people working hard. I'm not sure we're working hard on the right things," said Avossa.

Another important goal outline in the strategic plan is to increase graduation rates.

Right now, about 79 percent of students are graduating high school.

Avossa wants that number at 90 percent.

Then there is also an effort to push for more success after the students graduate.

This is something a lot of parents think is a priority.

"Not everyone is cut out necessarily for college," said Bari Levitt, a mother with two students in the district. "It would be nice to see them graduate with some sort of vocational experience or certification, so they can stay in Palm Beach County and contribute."

There is not a price tag yet for the plan.

However, the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County says it is looking to raise more than $50 million over the next five years to help pay for the plan.

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