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Required state testing canceled for all K-12 schools in Florida

All schools on extended break until April 15
School Testing
Posted at 5:26 PM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 18:50:42-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Governor Ron DeSantis says all required testing for Florida's K-12 schools is canceled and is giving parents the option to hold their kids back a year.

The governor said K-12 grades will not be calculated for the 2019-2020 school year. Schools' evaluation grades will also be canceled.

He also said kids will automatically be promoted to the next grade, but parents can choose if they want their kids to repeat the school year or not.

Students will not return to school until at least April 15. State school officials say all K-12 districts should be prepared to extend their educational calendars through June 30, 2020.

Eligibility for Florida Bright Futures scholarships shall be based on available data and results. Tests that were not available to be taken shall not be counted.

Requirements for graduation and promotion and final course grades will be evaluated as if those those state assessments didn't exist. DeSantis said state education commissioner Richards Corcoran may also reduce the required K-12 instructional hours to accommodate for closures.

Online learning for the rest of the school year is still being evaluated. The state has not made a final decision whether to reopen the schools or not, in person or online.

For the next 120 days, exam fees for teacher certification-related examinations will be waived, and test takers who were unable to take an exam due to test site locations closing will be granted an extension to meet these requirements.

Florida's school districts are being instructed to redirect unspent 2019-2020 funds from various allocations to help low income students purchase digital devices and establish internet services so that they can participate in remote instruction.

K-12 school districts are also permitted to redirect unspent 2019-2020 funds from the state schools and mental health allocations to virtual and telephonic mental health counseling services for students that need emotional support.

DeSantis also confirmed that Florida's confirmed COVID-19 cases have climbed to 216.