Reading improvements for third graders approved by Michigan lawmakers

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan lawmakers have given preliminary approval to compromise legislation designed to improve third-graders’ reading but that has been caught up in a dispute over making students repeat a grade if they lag too far behind.

A Republican-led conference committee approved the bill on a 5-1 vote Tuesday, with one Democrat opposed. The bill was pending with the panel since March after the House and Senate passed different versions.

The compromise legislation would keep intact many exemptions under which kids could still advance to fourth grade for “good cause” even if they have reading difficulties.

The bill would exempt newer students who didn’t receive an appropriate individualized reading intervention in their old district or if the superintendent determines that an exemption is in a student’s “best interests.”

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