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Kentucky Literacy Rates Declining

Guardian News & Media

The head of a center created 15 years ago to expand literacy in Kentucky says that effort has slipped in recent years.

George Hruby of the Collaborative Center on Literacy Development (CCLD) told the Kentucky General Assembly’s Interim Joint Committee on Education (Dec. 18) that there has been significant progress in literacy in the Commonwealth over the past ten years. He says, by 2002, tests indicated that Kentucky’s literacy achievements were “significantly above” the national average and that continued to be the case until 2011.

Hruby says the latest scores show Kentucky has declined three points in literacy as measured by the National Assessment of Educational Progress. He says eight states have now moved “significantly ahead” of the Commonwealth and 21 are listed as “significantly behind.”

“When you look at where we were, relative to the rest of the nation, only 4 states at the elementary level were significantly ahead of Kentucky, 27 were significantly behind Kentucky and no state when it comes to dealing with students of poverty were significantly ahead of Kentucky. When you realize how many we have and when you realize our per capita spending per students…that’s remarkable.” –George  Hruby

Hruby says his budget at the CCLD has been reduced, even though the state legislature earmarked funds for the center in a recent spending bill. He says the program receives its operating funds through the Kentucky Department of Education and it cut the CCLD appropriation by more than 225-thousand dollars.

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