One of the greatest indicators of success in school and in life is the ability to master literacy by the time a student leaves third grade.
Earlier this week, Gov. Pete Ricketts ensured more students will have that opportunity by signing LB 1081, a bill that contains The Nebraska Reading Improvement Act.
Studies show that children who are not reading on grade level by fourth grade are four times more likely to drop out of school. High school dropouts are not eligible for 90 percent of the jobs in this economy.
According to recently released National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) data, Nebraska’s results in both 4th and 8th grade reading have largely been stagnant since 2005. Supporters, including Sen. Lou Ann Linehan, believe the new law will jumpstart the state’s progress and realize there can be no rest until every child is fully prepared for success.
“Early literacy is the foundation for academic success,” Linehan said. “Nebraska’s students will have more opportunities to gain this critical skill as a result of the provisions set forth in this law.”
“The power of reading opens doors that lead to fulfilling careers and a richer understanding of the world around us. It is imperative that every policymaker and educator help all children unlock their potential, and the most certain path is ensuring literacy for all third graders.
“I want to thank Governor Ricketts as well as Senators Linehan, Pansing Brooks, Groene and others for working hard every day to help Nebraska’s students achieve their dreams.”
Gov. Jeb Bush, Founder and Chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education
“Thank you to Senator Linehan and Senator Pansing Brooks for their work on improving grade school reading. Literacy is central to any child’s education. It is a foundational building block in the education our children need to face the challenges and seize the opportunities ahead of them in 21st-century America. The Reading Improvement Act will help ensure that our students have the skills they need to achieve their dreams.”
Pete Ricketts, Governor of Nebraska
Highlights of the Nebraska Reading Improvement Act:
- Creates early literacy screening to identify students with potential reading difficulties.
- Parent notification is required for parents of students identified with a reading difficulty in K-3.
- Individual reading plans would be developed with parents/guardians that prescribe research-based reading interventions that will be provided to the student.
- Parents will receive reading strategies to support their children at home.
- Offers access to summer reading camps for struggling readers.