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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida must do better for children, activist David Lawrence says

David Lawrence, one of Florida's leading advocates for improved early education and related services, continues to press for state government leaders to do more for children. The 2012 session "needed to be a lot better" on children's issues, Lawrence told the News Service of Florida in a recent interview.

"The Legislature will have to make choices on how it spends money, and I would think and hope that the Legislature would see the enormous disconnect between paying $2,383 for a VPK slot, which is stunningly low, and $51,000 to incarcerate a juvenile or $21,000-plus to incarcerate an adult," Lawrence said. "We have all the evidence in the world that if you invested early, when 90 percent of brain growth occurs, that you would have a lot more children with momentum, not only before school but during school and all throughout life."

He's been saying such things for years. Little happens to make change.

"I do think that I see, regularly, clear evidence that people want things to be better and want to be inspired," Lawrence said. "One of the things that I worry most about is that in this country, people will check out of the system."

Read the full interview here. Do you see any changes on the way? What should be the state, community and personal role in helping children?

[Last modified: Monday, May 28, 2012 6:59am]


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