Seven House Republicans join Democrats to postpone third-grade reading requirement.


Through an amendment, the GOP-led House voted Tuesday to postpone for a year the “Third Grade Reading Gate,” a measure passed in 2013 that would prevent third graders not reading proficiently from passing to fourth grade.

HB745, a bill that would have allowed some students with disabilities to be passed, was amended by Rep. Lataisha Jackson, D-Como, to exempt all students from the reading gate for a year. Jackson said the Legislature hasn’t provided the necessary funding or reading coaches to make the program work.

Seven Republicans crossed over to help the amendment pass, drawing the ire of Gov. Phil Bryant, an ardent supporter of the reading gate.

“It’s disappointing that 62 members of the House of Representatives would vote to socially promote children who cannot read,” Bryant said. “With votes like this, it is little wonder that Mississippi’s public education system has been an abysmal failure.”

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