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Gov. Ron DeSantis’ participation in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day events last month at Piney Grove Boys Academy was a blessing for our small K-12 private school in Lauderdale Lakes. His call to expand educational choice opportunities for families showed that somebody is listening and understands our plight.
Combined, we spent nearly a half-century as educators in Broward County public schools. When First Baptist Church Piney Grove Pastor, Rev. Derrick J. Hughes, asked us to set up the boys academy, we knew little of school choice.
Years - Choice - Resources - Schools - Option
For many years, “choice” often consisted of having the financial resources to attend high-quality private schools — an option that wasn’t available for most low-income students.
Thankfully, when Piney Grove Boys Academy opened in 2013, the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship existed to help level the playing field. It enables our students to afford a private prep school education in the inner city.
Choice - Piney - Grove
Without choice, there would be no Piney Grove.
Ninety-five percent of our students receive a state scholarship: Two-thirds have the means-tested Florida Tax Credit Scholarship, while others receive the McKay Scholarship for students with special needs. The rest pay out of pocket.
Ninety - Percent - Students - Homes - Mothers
Ninety percent of our 85 students come from single-family homes, where they are raised by their mothers, aunts, or grandmothers. So many boys assume they are men without having male role models to follow. They are being thrust into manhood with no direction.
So in addition to our challenging and diverse academic curriculum and smaller class sizes (we average 12 students per class), we provide them with the kind of life skills a father traditionally...
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