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Both chambers approve reading retention bill, now goes to the governor’s desk

By Kirsten Adair, IPB News | Published on in Education, Government, Politics
Advocates say test strips can save lives by reducing the chance of overdose from fentanyl, which can help people stay alive long enough to find recovery. Indiana had the 10th highest rate of overdose mortality in 2021. (FILE PHOTO: Jeanie Lindsay/IPB News)

Senate lawmakers approved the House’s amendments to a reading retention bill this week. It now goes to the governor to sign into law.

Senate Bill 1 has faced controversy for its requirement to hold back students who don’t pass the state’s reading proficiency exam by the end of third grade.

The proposal is a response to Indiana Department of Education data that shows 1 in 5 Indiana third graders lacks foundational reading skills.

The bill’s opponents said retaining students could negatively affect their social and emotional well-being and inflate class sizes.

Those in favor of retention say moving students forward without foundational reading skills will hurt them more in the long run.

Kirsten is our education reporter. Contact her at kadair@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @kirsten_adair.