Bill S.261 would support literacy intervention programs in Massachusetts

Home E State/National News E Bill S.261 would support literacy intervention programs in Massachusetts
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Publication Name: State House News Service
Article Date: 6/18/15
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BOSTON, MA – The Education Committee took testimony Wednesday on a bill that seeks to catch struggling young readers before it’s too late. A measure under consideration by Education would create a reimbursement system for school systems that implement literacy intervention programs for first graders who are determined to be at risk of falling behind their classmates in reading in first grade. The bill (S 261) would reimburse a school district for half the cost of salaries, textbooks and classroom materials associated with any intervention program that has demonstrated effectiveness based on published research. Supporters said the bill is designed to reduce the number of students who are referred to special education programs because they struggle to learn to read in the first grade and to address the needs of those students before they fall too far behind other students. Kelly L. McDermott, the reading recovery teacher leader for Boston Public Schools, said the bill would “reduce unnecessary special education referrals.” “We’re at 19.6 percent of BPS students needing special education, that’s one fifth,” she said. “Serious thought needs to go into reversing this trend … so kids who actually need special education end up in smaller, more intentional groups.”

The bill, as presented, can be found here

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