Washoe County school district supporting bills to improve early literacy

Reported by: Ashley Cullins
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Updated: 2/25/2013 5:26 pm
CARSON CITY, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- It's a big week for education in Nevada with several proposed bills being presented between now and Friday.

While budget cuts are on their minds, Washoe County schools Director of Government Affairs Lindsay Anderson said district officials are focusing on new education policies.

"We're trying this week really to keep these topics separate and talk about what's best for kids in Nevada," Anderson said.

Since the beginning of his run as superintendant, Pedro Martinez has been making a big push for elementary and middle school improvements. Anderson said the goal is to keep them engaged and excited about school so they don't get behind.

This week at the capitol the school district's priority of getting students to perform at grade level earlier in their education is taking center stage.

"We're going to be talking about some big issues including full-day kindergarten, pre-k programs for our most at risk students, issues around social promotion and reading by 3rd grade," Anderson said.  

Anderson said all but three Washoe County elementary schools already offer full-day kindergarten.

"We appreciate the conversation about making those state funded programs," Anderson said.

They're also ready to talk about ending social promotion - when kids move on to the next grade with their classmates without being proficient.

Anderson says it all ties together.

"If we have full-day kindergarten programs and pre-k programs then we would have a much lower incidence of children not reading at proficiency level by 3rd grade," Anderson said.

All of it, of course, will cost money but Anderson says that's an issue for another day.

"We're looking forward to getting into the nuts and bolts of these policy discussions, but I think today you'll hear a lot about why we think some of these proposals are good for kids in our district," Anderson said.
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