SC senators advance education bills to floor

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Bills aimed at boosting children's chances for success in school are heading to the Senate floor.

The Senate Education Committee advanced bills Wednesday that call for intervention in the early years.

One would expand the state's full-day 4-year-old kindergarten for children living in poverty. The 2013-14 budget plan set for debate next week on the Senate floor puts $22 million toward the first of a multi-year phase-in of the expansion.

The other bill is dubbed "Read to Succeed." It requires summer reading camps and other help for struggling readers in kindergarten through third grade, as well as a mandatory retention policy. Students who still can't comprehend the words on the page by the end of third grade would be retained for a year of reading-focused instruction.

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