The Alabama House on Wednesday approved two largely noncontroversial bills that address reading proficiency in public schools and readiness for first grade.
Rep. Terri Collins, R-Decatur, introduced House Bill 220 would expand the Literacy Task Force by seven additional members, four appointed by the governor and three by the state superintendent of education.
“They need more people to do the work. It’s hard work,” Collins said.
The bill would also prohibit a child who has reading deficiencies from being held back in third grade more than once, and would exempt from having to meet certain criteria children with disabilities who have individual education plans that states participation in the statewide assessment program is inappropriate.
House members voted unanimously to approve the bill.
House Bill 331 introduced by Rep. Pebblin Warren, D-Tuskegee, would not allow a child to enter first grade unless the child “has completed kindergarten or otherwise demonstrates first-grade readiness.”
“This bill gives the students a needed foundation to be successful in life,” Warren said.
Members approved the bill in an 81-19 vote with one abstention.