Louisiana representatives passed a bill today that would give the state’s lowest performing readers funds for additional supports outside the classroom. HB 446, sponsored by Representative Steve Carter, would create a Reading Assistance Program for students in grades 3-5 who are not reading on grade level. Participating families would be reimbursed up to $500 for expenses related to reading instruction or tutoring in addition to what they receive in public school. Under the bill, priority will be given to English Language Learner students.
“Reading is the gateway to learning and struggling readers deserve every opportunity to gain the skills necessary for success in school and in life. With the Reading Assistance Program, parents will be able to customize and supplement their child’s reading instruction so they can receive the extra support they need. ExcelinEd in Action thanks Representative Steve Carter, the Louisiana Federation for Children and the Louisiana Department of Education for championing this legislation and Louisiana’s students.”
Nathan Hoffman, Regional Legislative Director, ExcelinEd in Action
The Reading Assistance Program is modeled after a similar program in Florida that began in 2018 and is the first of its kind in the country.
The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.
For more information on the critical importance of early literacy, visit the ExcelinEd policy library.