Dunleavy, Begich outline student reading proposal

Gov. Mike Dunleavy is working with Senate Democratic leader Tom Begich on legislation aimed at ensuring students are proficient in reading by third grade.

Dunleavy said it’s a moral imperative to ensure children can read at a level that helps them advance through school and life. Details of the bill were outlined Wednesday at an Anchorage school, ahead of the new legislative session beginning next week.

Begich, in a statement, said some things, such as the education of Alaska children, are more important than their political differences. Dunleavy defeated Begich’s brother, former U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, in the 2018 governor’s race.

Begich said some provisions of the legislation are still being worked on. But the administration said it would include screenings to identify students with potential reading difficulties, individual reading plans and various ways for students to demonstrate reading skills required to move to fourth grade.