By Associated Press - Tuesday, April 7, 2015

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Lawmakers are reviewing Gov. Brian Sandoval’s push to ensure all Nevada students can read by third grade.

The Senate Education Committee held a hearing Tuesday for SB391, which would largely prevent students from advancing to fourth grade if they didn’t demonstrate reading proficiency through a standardized test or alternative means.

Testing data show 39 percent of Nevada third graders were not considered proficient in reading last school year, although the state might set a different bar for proficiency for the purposes of the bill.

The bill calls for $27 million in state funding so districts can hire literacy specialists, buy educational software or offer professional development.

Republican Sen. Becky Harris said the benchmark was chosen because students are learning to read through third grade, but read to learn afterward.

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