Iowa's 3rd-grade reading program scrapped in state budget - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa's 3rd-grade reading program scrapped in state budget

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Lawmakers are abolishing a statewide program intended to improve reading skills of Iowa third-graders because of a lack of funding and concerns about the effort's ineffectiveness.

Reports say Republican Sen. Tim Kraayenbrink of Fort Dodge confirmed plans Thursday to eliminate the program, saying lawmakers felt it would be an unfunded mandate to local school districts if state funding wasn't available.

Nearly 25 percent of the state's third-graders didn't read proficiently on Iowa tests during the 2014-15 academic year.

Lawmakers previously had agreed to establish a summer reading program for third-graders who failed reading tests at the end of the school year. They wouldn't be promoted to fourth grade unless they participated in the program.

Kraayenbrink says he's not convinced the program was the best approach.

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