Should Colorado Pay Kids for Reading?

May 7 2010, 10:15 AM

Colorado legislators are considering paying a small stipend to schoolchildren who read well. Many oppose the measure, which comes at an interesting time. Test results show 30 percent of the state's third-graders do not read proficiently, a factor that could work against them as they trudge through school in years to come (via The Denver Post). A bipartisan bill, inspired by a Harvard economist's research that found kids like a stash of cash when they complete a reading project, narrowly passed a first vote in the Senate yesterday, according to The Associated Press. But Senator Evie Hudak, a Democrat and former State Board of Education member, calls the measure “bribery,” according to EdNewsColorado. The measure would allow the Read to Achieve Board to grant as much as $1 million annually to programs providing services to kids in poor neighborhoods. There are no qualified programs in the region to administer such programs, but some in the Senate say a law would change that. Still other senators worried that rural areas might be excluded.