Louisiana lawmaker proposes bill to create reading scholarship program

Louisiana lawmaker proposes bill to create reading scholarship program
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A Louisiana lawmaker is proposing legislation to create a reading program scholarship for certain public school children.

Rep. Stephen F. Carter of District 68 is sponsoring the bill, HB446, which was introduced March 29.

The bill would establish the Reading Scholarship Program for 3rd to 5th grade students who score below the state’s reading level. The scholarship program would provide a $500 scholarship that would go toward instructional materials and programming designed to improve reading and literacy skills.

According to the 2017 Nation’s Report Card, 26 percent of the Louisiana’s 4th graders were considered proficient at reading, nine percentage points lower than the nation as a whole.

Carter said it’s unlikely the bill would pass without amendments since a significant number of students in the state’s public school system scored below the reading level. He said the bill has better shot of passing if the scholarship program is implemented as a pilot program.

The Department of Education would be in charge of the program and required to annually to the house and senate to provide program updates.

The house bill is waiting on a vote from the house education committee.

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