Legislation to improve early literacy moves forward

Girl wearing a mask chooses a book

On Thursday, the Senate Education Committee passed legislation seeking to expand and improve early literacy in Kentucky.

Senate Bill 115, sponsored by Senator Steve West, expands access to evidence-based reading intervention supports to schools throughout Kentucky. Currently, these programs are available through grants that only a number of schools are awarded. West said that many schools, where these programs are most needed, don’t have access to these successful programs.

A House version, House Bill 270, is sponsored by Representative James Tipton who joined West to offer testimony on the bill.

The lawmakers stated the programs are proven to help ensure students reach grade-level literacy before fourth grade. Tipton pointed out that a majority of content students must take on from fourth grade on is comprehension-based and that if students are not reading at grade-level they will fall behind.

West and Tipton reminded the committee this bill had been developed over the last three years working with many education stakeholders.

Commissioner of Education, Jason Glass, offered support for the legislation citing the need to help more Kentucky students have access to evidence-based supports that help students read.

The bill cleared the committee with a 9-0 vote and now heads to the full Senate for consideration.  

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Jacqueline Pitts
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