Assigned to ED &                                                                                                                      FOR COMMITTEE






Fifty-Third Legislature, Second Regular Session




schools; reading requirements




Makes various changes to the K-3 Reading Program.




The K-3 Reading Program, also referred to as Move on When Reading (MOWR), was established in 2010 to improve the reading proficiency of students in kindergarten through grade three. Under MOWR, students who obtain a score on the reading portion of the statewide assessment that does not demonstrate sufficient reading skills are prohibited from being promoted to the fourth grade, with certain exceptions outlined in statute. The State Board of Education develops intervention and remedial strategies for students retained in the third grade. Schools are required to offer more than one of the strategies outlined in statute (A.R.S. § 15-701).


School districts and charter schools submit a plan for improving reading proficiency in kindergarten through grade three that includes baseline data on K-3 reading proficiency and a budget for spending monies from both the K-3 support level weight and the K-3 reading support level weight. Statute requires K-3 reading support level weight monies be used only on instructional purposes intended to improve reading proficiency for students in kindergarten through third grade. Schools with at least 90 percent of students eligible for free and reduced-price lunches may use grant monies from the Early Literacy Grant Program Fund, awarded on a three‑year cycle on a per pupil basis, for eligible expenses to increase reading proficiency (A.R.S. §§ 15-211 and 15-249.09).


There is no anticipated fiscal impact to the state General Fund associated with this legislation.




1.      Requires applicants for Standard Elementary Teaching Certificates to complete 45 classroom hours, or three credit hours, in reading instruction, including training on evidence-based instructional practices and interventions to improve student reading proficiency.


2.      Requires school districts and charter schools to use monies generated by the K-3 reading support level weight only on evidence-based instructional programs and practices.


3.      Requires the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) to ensure the program implementation guidance contains the most current evidence-based practices by consulting with state universities.

4.      Requires best practice examples to be selected from school districts and charter schools showing the most improvement on third grade reading proficiency.


5.      Allows ADE to annually use up to one percent of the monies in the Early Literacy Grant Program Fund to administer grants.


6.      Requires ADE to develop an application process for eligible schools to award grants and removes the requirement that grants be awarded on a per pupil basis.


7.      Requires eligible schools that apply to include a detailed description of how the requested monies will increase the reading proficiency of students in kindergarten programs and grades one through three.


8.      Removes the requirement that a third grade English language learner have less than two years of English language instruction to be promoted from the third grade.


9.      Requires the notification to instruct the parent to choose, in consultation with the student's teacher, the most appropriate intervention and remedial strategies.


10.  Requires diagnostic information to be used to plan evidence-based, appropriate and effective instruction.


11.  Modifies the definitions of:

a)      eligible expenses;

b)      essential components of reading instruction; and

c)      reading.


12.  Makes technical and conforming changes.


13.  Becomes effective on the general effective date.


House Action


ED                   2/06/18     DP     9-0-0-2

3rd Read          2/21/18               59-0-1


Prepared by Senate Research

March 6, 2018