Bill aims to boost SC students' reading abilities

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Students still struggling to read by the end of third grade would be held back for extra help under a bill that aims to boost children's chances of success through early intervention.

The bill is backed by leading Republican senators. It seeks to end years of static achievement in South Carolina's schools through a coordinated focus on reading in the primary grades. That involves ending social promotion that results in students falling ever-further behind.

State standardized tests show that one in five third-graders can't read at a basic level.

Educators are roundly praising the intent of the bill, though they stress funding will be a major issue.

While the retention piece is getting attention, other parts of the bill are aimed at helping students before they need to be held back.

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