State approves K-12 education grant |

State approves K-12 education grant

Nevada has been awarded a series of federal grants totaling nearly $75 million over the next five years to help children from preschool through high school improve their reading skills.

The Interim Finance Committee approved the first of five annual grants Tuesday – a $14.5 million award to fund a new “Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy program.”

Superintendent of Education Keith Rheault said Nevada won the grant because federal officials liked the program and because “Nevada has been showing strong, steady improvement in reading and math for the past eight years.”

He said the state has consistently been in the top 25 percent of states in improvement on math and reading tests.

“Wait. You said we’re in the top quarter of something?” said Sen. Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas.

Rheault said yes, but pointed out that Nevada students started “at a pretty low level.”

“This is wonderful and really shows the improvement that’s happening,” said Assemblywoman April Mastroluca, D-Las Vegas.

Cindy Sharp of the education department said the plan is to implement a “comprehensive literacy plan.” She said the state will “be able to see students move all theway from birth through K-12.”

Schools, districts and preschool providers can all apply for grants from the program.