Bill would require third graders to meet reading benchmarks


Alabama could become the next state to require third graders to pass a reading benchmark before moving to fourth grade.

The House Education Policy Committee on Wednesday approved House Bill 388, the legislation by Republican Rep. Terri Collins of Decatur. The bill moves to the House floor.

Collins said the goal is to make sure students read at or above grade level by the end of third grade.

The bill mandates a number of initiatives to boost reading scores before the third grade test. They include having a regional reading specialist work with students.

Beginning in the 2021-22 school year, third graders would have to meet reading benchmarks to move to fourth grade.

Opponents expressed concern about funding and the requirement to hold students back.

Collins said the retention component “makes it work.”

Republished with permission of the Associated Press.