- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 20, 2015

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder has made third-grade reading a focus in his annual State of the State address.

The Republican governor called Tuesday night for lawmakers to create an outside commission similar to one in Tennessee. It would concentrate on third-graders’ reading proficiency and other prenatal-to-third grade issues designed to improve children’s outcomes.

Third grade is considered a key indicator because it’s when students move from learning to read to reading to learn.

Snyder says the number of third-graders proficient in reading has risen from 63 to 70 percent over four years, but “we can’t be proud of that.”

He says recent increased spending so low-income kids can attend preschool should help. He plans to ask for additional early childhood spending in his proposed budget due in three weeks.

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