Letter to Chairman Dempsey re Reading Recovery

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

View letter.