Gov. Terry Branstad revealed his education reform package today. One of the biggest parts of this proposal is a reading level requirement for third graders.The plan comes from Florida Schools who do the same thing. It sets a minimum level of reading for third graders that would be most likely be measured through the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. If the students don’t meet the minimum requirement they would be held back in third grade. Dr. Mike Jorgenson, Superintendent of Washington Schools, says he thinks it’s a good idea to retain students who don’t meet the requirements, but he doesn’t know if third grade is the best year to do it. He thinks there is a social stigma to being held back in that grade. He says it might be a better idea to start with an earlier grade. This specific part of the reform package would cost the state around $10,000,000. It is by far the most expensive part of this planned $25,000,000 package. Only about $17 ,000,000 in extra funding would be required for this package, with the other $8,000,000 coming from existing education funding. Lawmakers have yet to discuss these reforms, KCII will bring you more information on Gov. Branstad’s plan as it progresses.
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