Tennessee’s sweeping literacy initiative in jeopardy as funding dries up

June 12, 2019 | Chalkbeat Tennessee

Tennessee’s statewide network of literacy coaches is being dismantled this month after funding for that program was not renewed in the budget proposed by Gov. Bill Lee and approved by the legislature.

And the future of popular summer reading camps started four years ago under Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration is uncertain after a federal grant was pulled, even as participating children have showed gains in their reading comprehension and increased their motivation to read.

Both are key components of Read to be Ready, a major initiative that launched amid fanfare in 2016 as Tennessee tried to address national test results showing that only a third of its fourth-graders were considered proficient readers. The idea was to hone in on reading development in early elementary grades with the goal of getting 75 percent of the state’s third-graders proficient by 2025.

Read more