wa-law.org > bill > 2023-24 > HB 2142 > Original Bill

HB 2142 - Reading coaches grants


Section 1

  1. The legislature finds that:

    1. The educational opportunity gap oversight and accountability committee reported in 2023 that the COVID-19 pandemic showed there has been a "failure to produce equitable outcomes for all students";

    2. Every child should have an equal opportunity to learn, regardless of the child's zip code, poverty level, or race;

    3. In the 2022-23 school year, 52 percent of, or 38,000, third grade students did not meet the proficiency standard on the statewide assessment in English language arts;

    4. There is a correlation between poverty level and low reading literacy. Low-income third grade students score, on average, 32 percentage points lower on the English language arts assessment than their nonlow-income peers;

    5. A reading coach can help improve the reading skills of elementary school students; and

    6. Many school districts are unable to fund reading coaches or other reading literacy initiatives out of local dollars.

  2. In order to improve the reading literacy rate in this state and to close the opportunity gap, the legislature intends to establish the reading coaches grant program.

Section 2

  1. Subject to the funds appropriated specifically for this purpose, the reading to ensure academic development grant program, known as the READ grant program, is established to improve early elementary student literacy.

  2. Beginning September 1, 2024, the office of the superintendent of public instruction may award up to 125 READ grants. Grants may not exceed $75,000 per year for four years, per elementary school. Grants may be awarded to one or more elementary schools within an applying school district.

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    1. In making grant allocations, the office of the superintendent of public instruction must give priority to elementary schools with the highest percentages of tested students receiving a score of basic or below basic on the third grade statewide assessment in English language arts in the previous school year. The office may also consider the percentage of students qualifying for free or reduced-price meals and the percentage of students participating in English language learner programs.

    2. For the purposes of this subsection, the office of the superintendent of public instruction must exclude the following from the calculation of a school's percentage of tested students:

      1. Students enrolled in the transitional bilingual instruction program unless the student has participated in the program for three school years; and

      2. Students with disabilities whose individualized education program specifies a different standard to measure reading performance than is required for the statewide assessment in English language arts.

  4. School districts with an elementary school that receives grant funds under this section must use the funds to hire reading coaches in the awarded elementary school. As used in this section, a reading coach is a classified staff person, with at least two years of experience teaching literacy skills to students, who provides additional educational support services to elementary students to improve their reading skills.

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    1. The office of the superintendent of public instruction must evaluate the READ grant program, in collaboration with recipients of the grants in this section, and prepare a report on the outcomes of the program. The report must include a comparison between the third grade statewide English language arts assessment scores, both proficiency and growth rates, of the awarded elementary schools and the scores of comparable schools. A preliminary report is due November 30, 2026, and a final report is due November 30, 2028.

    2. The report required by (a) of this subsection must be submitted to the appropriate committees of the house of representatives and the senate, in accordance with RCW 43.01.036.

  6. This section expires July 1, 2029.

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