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Governor DeSantis, a veteran himself, expressed his pride in Florida's commitment to military and veteran families. "As a veteran, I understand firsthand the challenges that many military families face, including frequent relocations and changing schools," he said. "Florida will continue to work to ensure schools provide support and resources for military and veteran families."
Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz Jr. also expressed his gratitude for Governor DeSantis' support of military families through the Purple Star Schools of Distinction program. "We are immensely grateful for Governor DeSantis' support of military families through the Purple Star Schools of Distinction program, as well as his massive investment in initiatives that provide ongoing support to our veterans," he said.
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Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez echoed these sentiments, noting that Florida's commitment to its veterans starts at the top. "Governor DeSantis understands the importance of putting our military and veterans first," she said. "I'm proud to be part of an administration that uses every resource at its disposal to create meaningful programs like the Purple Star School of Distinction Program."
In order for a school to earn this designation, they must meet certain criteria such as having a school military point of contact, a school webpage for military students and families with resources like academic planning and transition planning, a student-led transition program, staff professional development related to supporting military families, five percent open enrollment seats for military students and families, and three additional activities such as participating in a service project or hosting an annual recognition event.
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The Purple Star School of Distinction program was established by the Florida Legislature in 2021 with 124 schools earning this designation in its first year. All public schools and private schools participating in state scholarship programs are eligible for this distinction.
In addition to this program, Governor DeSantis has supported active military and veteran families through numerous initiatives such as investing in Heroes in the Classroom Bonus Program; establishing Collegiate Purple Star Campuses Program; re-enacting Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children; signing Senate Bill 896 into law; allowing state agencies to substitute work experience including military experience; facilitating credit for military experience; among others.
For more information about the Purple Star Schools of Distinction program or a complete list of designated schools visit their website at www.purplestarschoolsdesignation.com
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