Idaho panel OKs funding for new reading test

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho budget writers have tweaked the spending plan for Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra’s office to include funding for a new statewide reading test for young students.

The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee agreed Tuesday to funnel $443,000 to fund the new test, called the Idaho Reading Indicator, after House lawmakers killed the budget-setting committee’s original proposal last week.

Budget writers had initially denied Ybarra’s request to expand the new test earlier this year because they argued not enough data was available to show the latest version was better than the one currently in place. However, the move sparked criticism from other lawmakers who argued budget writers had overstepped their role.

The early reading test is target toward kindergarten through third-graders students with the intent of identifying students falling behind.

The new budget proposal must now pass the full House and Senate.

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