Education is the key in moving our community and improving the quality of life.
The high-school graduation rate is one of the best indicators of a community’s economic prospects. When companies explore moving to a community, one of the first things they look up is the graduation rate. Our graduation rate is holding the area back. In Escambia County, just 64 percent of our high-schoolers walk away with a diploma. For black students, it’s 51 percent. These numbers are some of the lowest rates in the state.
The state average is 75.6 percent overall. 1 in 3 Escambia County students didn’t graduate last year.
The impact of generational poverty on the community’s economic and educational prospects is reflected in measures such as the free- and reduced-price lunch rate — which in Escambia County is 62 percent.
The Florida Office of Early Learning says on average 33 percent of Escambia 5-year- olds are not ready for kindergarten. Often those children come from poor families.
Early learning is an investment that saves public money in the long term — something that should appeal to folks of all political stripes. Read full story
The Brain Bag project also gives parents a lesson in early brain development before they leave the hospital, meant to help new parents learn a bit about the critical role of language and talk in the way a child's brain develops, especially in the first three years of life. Read full story
Pensacola aims to transform “America’s First Settlement” into the “First Early Learning City,” a place in which the entire community builds a culture of lifelong learning. Read full story
West Florida Public Libraries and the Escambia County School District are teaming up to ensure every student in Escambia County will receive a special edition library card this week. Read full story
Reaching children in their earliest years can help ensure that they get the healthy and strong start they need to begin school ready to learn and grow. Read full story