An Act To Develop Young Readers
Sec. 1. 20-A MRSA §254, sub-§18 is enacted to read:
Sec. 2. 20-A MRSA §1258, first ¶, as enacted by PL 1981, c. 693, §§5 and 8, is amended to read:
A school administrative district shall maintain a program which that includes kindergarten to grade 12. Beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, a school administrative district shall provide a full-day kindergarten program.
Sec. 3. 20-A MRSA §1479, first ¶, as amended by PL 2011, c. 171, §2, is further amended to read:
A regional school unit shall maintain a program that includes kindergarten to grade 12 except for the school administrative districts that did not operate kindergarten to grade 12 that were reformulated into regional school units in accordance with Public Law 2007, chapter 240, Part XXXX, section 36, subsection 12, as amended by Public Law 2007, chapter 668, section 48. Beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, a regional school unit that provides a program that includes kindergarten shall provide a full-day kindergarten program.
The purpose of this bill is to facilitate the development of young readers by:
1. Requiring the Commissioner of Education to establish a program to encourage the early exposure of infants and children in the State to books and reading. The bill directs the commissioner to coordinate the Department of Education's efforts with those of any other agency of government, individual, group, foundation or corporation that has established a program to encourage early reading and authorizes the acceptance of any funds for these purposes from any other agency of government, individual, group, foundation or corporation; and
2. Requiring that beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, school units that offer kindergarten programs provide full-day kindergarten programs.