SENATE, No. 724

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

220th LEGISLATURE

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2022 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator† RICHARD J. CODEY

District 27 (Essex and Morris)

Senator† SHIRLEY K. TURNER

District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Directs Commissioner of Education to establish three-year pilot program to increase reading levels of certain students; appropriates $1 million.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

††


An Act concerning reading literacy and summer school instruction, supplementing chapter 6 of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes, and making an appropriation.

 

†††† Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

†††† 1.††† a.† The Commissioner of Education shall establish a three-year pilot program to provide students who are not reading at grade level by the end of second grade in selected school districts with summer school instruction.† The goal of the pilot program shall be to ensure students are able to read at grade level prior to the start of third grade.

†††† b.††† The commissioner, in consultation with recognized experts in reading literacy from a cross section of academia, reading literacy advocacy organizations, professional associations, and government agencies, shall identify appropriate reading level assessment tools a school district may use to evaluate student reading levels for the purposes of determining student participation in summer school instruction pursuant to the provisions of this act.

†††† c.†††† A school district seeking to participate in the pilot program shall submit an application to the commissioner.† The application shall include, but need not be limited to:

†††† (1)†† the number of elementary schools in the district;

†††† (2)†† the number of second grade students enrolled in each elementary school within the district;

†††† (3)†† information on summer school instruction provided by the elementary schools in the district during the previous three years; and

†††† (4)†† the number of elementary school students who enrolled in summer school instruction during the previous three years.

†††† d.††† The commissioner shall select two school districts in each of the northern, central, and southern regions of the State and shall seek a cross section of school districts from urban, suburban, and rural areas of the State.

†††† e.†††† At the conclusion of the three-year pilot program, the commissioner shall submit a report evaluating the effectiveness of the pilot program to the Governor and to the Legislature, pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1).† The report shall include an analysis of the impact of the grant program on student reading levels and shall include the commissionerís recommendation on the feasibility of implementing the program on a Statewide basis.

 

†††† 2.††† There is appropriated from the General Fund to the Department of Education the sum of $1,000,000 to establish and implement the pilot program established pursuant to section 1 of this act.

†††† 3.††† This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill directs the Commissioner of Education to establish a three-year pilot program that will provide general education students who are not reading at grade level by the end of the second grade in selected school districts with summer school instruction.† The commissioner, in consultation with recognized experts in reading literacy will identify appropriate reading level assessment tools that a school district may use to evaluate student reading levels for the purposes of determining which students will receive summer school instruction under the program.

†††† A school district that seeks to participate in the program will submit an application to the commissioner that includes, but is not limited to: (1) the number of elementary schools in the district; (2) the number of second grade students enrolled in each elementary school within the district; (3) information on summer school instruction provided by the elementary schools in the district during the previous three years; and (4) the number of elementary school students who enrolled in summer school instruction during the previous three years.

†††† Under the bill, the commissioner will select two school districts in each of the northern, central, and southern regions of the State and attempt to seek a cross section of school districts from urban, suburban, and rural areas of the State.† At the conclusion of the three-year pilot program, the commissioner will submit a report to the Governor and Legislature evaluating the effectiveness of the program and providing recommendations on the feasibility of implementing the program on a Statewide basis.

†††† The bill appropriates $1 million from the General Fund to the Department of Education to establish and implement the pilot program.