Four Northwest Florida school districts received more than $6 million total in the recently signed state budget. It’s for areas serving military-related students.
Santa Rosa Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick says kids of those serving in the military have a lot of special needs in schools.
“We see students who come in the middle of the year,” said Wyrosdick. “They have difficulty amalgamating academic credits and making that transition from one state to another. As much as we try to accommodate them, it does require a great deal of assistance to make certain that they make that transition.”
Schools in Santa Rosa County—surrounded by many military bases—received about $1.2 million, while Okaloosa—with the largest amount of military students—received the most with about $2.4 million. Calling it a “big win,” Wyrosdick says the funds will help provide guidance counselors and other additional services for these students.
“We see huge needs for both students in our schools and the families that are associated with those students,” he added. “So, these military liaisons help us to assist in the transition both in and out of our schools. Additionally, school guidance counselors dealing with military-dependent children, and their social-emotional needs and their academic needs are a high priority. We really want to make sure certain that those that serve us in our country and abroad and protect us that their children are taken care of and these dollars go a long way in making certain that we can do that.
Escambia and Bay counties also received similar funds. The money for these schools was put in the budget by Sen. Don Gaetz (R-Niceville) and his son, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fort Walton Beach).
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