Senator Brownsberger joined other legislators in requesting funding in the FY15 budget for the Reading Recovery program.
Honorable Brian Dempsey
Chairman, House Committee on Ways & Means
State House, Room 243
Boston, MA 02133
March 31, 2014
RE: Line item 7030-1005 Reading Recovery
Dear Mr. Chairman:
It was very disheartening this fall to learn that third grade reading scores on the MCAS test had dropped, with 43% of students not reading at a proficient level. However, with many cities and towns still recovering from the recession, school districts have had to cut back on literacy interventions and programs that helped boost scores in the past.
Reading Recovery was particularly hard hit. Funding was cut from $2.9 million in FY09 to only $350,000 in FY14. The number of districts implementing the Reading Recovery intervention dropped from 75 to only 42 today. Many of the districts still implementing Reading Recovery, Haverhill being one, have had to dramatically scale back the number of students they serve.
Yet, early intervention is the best way to help struggling kids and Reading Recovery is one of the most effective means we have. A review of research by the federally funded What Works Clearinghouse has shown Reading Recovery to be the most effective literacy program across all measures. A three year KPMG study in England found Reading Recovery to save enormous costs over time. And, the most recent evaluation of Reading Recovery funded through the federal i3 grant program, which includes Massachusetts, found “large positive effects on student literacy performance overall, and these positive effects were also large for ELL students and students in rural schools.”
Governor Patrick’s H.2 budget eliminates line item 7030-1005 for Reading Recovery, early intervention. The money is consolidated into line item 7010-0033, which funds a variety of literacy initiatives, but not early intervention. We ask restoration of line item 7030-1005 for Reading Recovery and an increase in funding to $800,000 to restore a small portion of the money that has been cut in recent years.
Thank you for your support of Reading Recovery.
Representative Edward F. Coppinger Representative Linda Campbell
10th Suffolk District 15th Essex District
Representative Cleon H. Turner Representative Frank I. Smizik
1st Barnstable District 15th Norfolk District
Representative Frank A. Moran Representative David M. Rogers
17th Essex District 24th Middlesex District
Representative Paul R. Heroux Representative Diana DiZoglio
2nd Bristol District 14th Essex District
Representative Timothy J. Toomey Representative Gailanne M. Cariddi
26th Middlesex District 1st Berkshire District
Representative Paul W. Mark Representative Kimberly N. Ferguson
2nd Berkshire District 1st Worcester District
Representative Aaron Vega Representative Brian M. Ashe
5th Hampden District 2nd Hampden District
Representative Carlo Basile Representative Gloria L. Fox
1st Suffolk District 7th Suffolk District
Representative Ellen Story Representative Marjorie C. Decker
3rd Hampshire District 25th Middlesex District
Representative Paul McMurtry Representative Peter V. Kocot
11th Norfolk District 1st Hampshire District
Representative Kay Khan Senator Michael F. Rush
11th Middlesex District Suffolk & Norfolk District
Senator William N. Brownsberger
Second Suffolk &Middlesex District