Strong Bipartisan Support for Early Literacy Program in Missouri

Strong Bipartisan Support for Early Literacy Program in Missouri

Missouri’s Senate Education Committee voted unanimously this week to advance a bill creating a reading intervention program for students in kindergarten to third grade.  Senate Bill 949, sponsored by Sen. Ed Emery, offers a comprehensive strategy that ensures students are strong readers and prepared for success beyond third grade.

The bill provides early literacy screening in grades K-3 to identify students with potential reading difficulties, including students at risk of dyslexia, and requires parents to be notified if their student is identified as having difficulty.

SB 949 also requires the development of individual reading plans and home reading strategies for each struggling reader and ensures close progress monitoring throughout the school year.  Intensive interventions would be provided for struggling readers in second and third grade, before or after school days and during summer camps. These interventions would be led by teachers with specific knowledge and skills to teach reading to all students, including students with severe difficulties.

“Missouri legislators put the needs of students first when they cast their vote for this important legislation. Reading is the gateway to learning.  Children learn to read from kindergarten through third grade, and in the fourth grade, students must be able to read so they can continue to learn. This policy aims to ensure students enter fourth grade with the foundational reading skills they will need to learn, graduate and succeed. Congratulations to Sen. Ed Emery for garnering unanimous bipartisan support for this life-changing program.”

Kim Preston, Midwest Legislative Director for ExcelinEd in Action

For more on the importance of early reading, visit the ExcelinEd policy library.