Kentucky State Capitol

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) — Legislation calling for school districts to help students who fall behind in reading or math or risk having them held back in the third grade will be amended significantly during Tuesday’s House Education Committee meeting, the bill’s sponsor told WDRB News on Monday.

If approved under the proposed amendment, HB 272 would direct Kentucky colleges and universities to teach prospective educators about the essential components of reading and developmental progression of mathematics; how to use student assessments to design instruction and interventions; and how to monitor student performance, among other directives in that section of the bill, Tipton said.

Tipton hopes the most controversial piece of the HB 272 – keeping kids from fourth grade unless they score at the apprentice level in reading and math in state assessments or complete a remediation program starting in the 2021-22 school year – will be a subject of additional discussion among lawmakers ahead of next year’s session.

“I want to bring people to the table during the interim and see if we can work toward a process forward for next year,” he said. “But I felt like it was important to at least try and get this one component in this year.”

Tipton said he filed HB 272, which has support from Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis, to start talks on how to improve academics for Kentucky’s schoolchildren, calling reading and numeracy for kids entering fourth grade “an important barometer” for student and teacher success.

Rep. Regina Huff, a Williamsburg Republican who chairs the House Education Committee, said HB 272 is scheduled for a hearing Tuesday.

But with time winding down in this year’s 30-day session, Tipton is unsure how his bill will fare in the General Assembly.

“I think there’d be less concern from people out there,” he told WDRB News. “Of course we’re in a short timeline with a short session, so we’ll just have to see how much time there is.”

Reach reporter Kevin Wheatley at 502-585-0838 and kwheatley@wdrb.com. Follow him on Twitter @KevinWheatleyKY.

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Education Reporter