‘Reading First’ Funds Headed for Extinction
Many educators and researchers thought that reports of the positive effects of Reading First would prove the program worth continuing, administrative problems aside. So the decision last month by House and Senate panels to eliminate its funding in the fiscal 2009 budget—a move likely to doom the program unless intervening action restores it—came as a blow to proponents.
Now, federal, state, and local officials are scrambling to figure out how to sustain the program, or at least some of the instructional changes it fueled.
The prospect of the demise of Reading First does not necessarily point to the end of a federal role in improving reading instruction. Early Reading First, a preschool literacy program, for example, is budgeted for $112.5 million in both the Senate Appropriations Committee and the House Appropriations subcommittee’s versions of the fiscal 2009 budget. Both Democratic and Republican members of Congress have supported its...
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