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Nebraska lawmakers debate holding back kids who can’t read

LINCOLN, Neb. – Nebraska lawmakers are debating whether schools should hold back third-grade students who aren’t reading at grade level.

Senators adjourned for the day Thursday without voting on the bill, but the measure’s sponsor says she’s close to having enough support to force a vote next week.

Sen. Lou Ann Linehan of Omaha says teachers and parents need to intervene early to make sure children can read before they move to fourth grade. She says schools should expect every child to read.

Opponents of the bill agree that childhood reading is crucial but say holding students back harms them. They say the state should focus on programs including pre-school, full-day kindergarten and professional development for teachers.

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