Kennedy urges Louisiana lawmakers to pass bill to hold third graders back who can’t read on grade level


US Senator John Kennedy took to the floor in DC urging state senators in Baton Rouge to pass legislation to hold back third graders who are unable to read on grade level.

“Every child can learn, but some of our children need special attention. This bill, House Bill 12 before the Louisiana State Senate will provide that attention,” said Kennedy.

Mandeville Representative Richard Nelson’s bill will give students intensive reading instruction and three opportunities to pass the literacy exam before advancing to the fourth grade.

Kennedy said the legislation is modeled after one Mississippi and a similar program in Florida has shown promising results.

“It’s worked in other states. If it doesn’t work in Louisiana, I’ll come right to this lectern and say it didn’t work. We tried it, we gave it our best shot, but it didn’t work. But I think it will,” said Kennedy.

The legislation passed in the House last year and failed to garner enough votes in the Senate. So far, this session has advanced from the House and Kennedy pleaded with state senators to help the bill cross the finish line this year.

“And I am pleading with them. Please, please, please. Pretty please with sugar on top, pass this bill,” said Kennedy.

If enacted the program would begin implementation in the 2024-2025 school year.


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