Published: Aug 31, 2010 3:37 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 31, 2010 12:37 PM EDT

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - More public schools are asking their students to wear uniforms.

Children at Rosemont Elementary School in Orlando and at least 10 other central Florida schools have changed or put new emphasis on their uniform dress code policy for the new school year.

That's a trend growing around the state and nationwide: According to the U.S. Department of Education, the percentage of public schools requiring uniforms has risen from 3 to 18 percent since 1996.

Parents say the uniforms help them save money, and teachers believe they help promote unity, order and academic seriousness.