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After vote recount, third-grade reading bill fails Senate

JACKSON — A requirement for third-graders to score higher on a reading test, which officials initially said had passed the Mississippi Senate by one vote, actually failed.

Senate President Pro Tem Terry Burton, a Newton Republican, said Thursday that votes were miscounted and that Senate Bill 2157 lost on a 25-24 vote.

Senators held the measure for reconsideration, though, and the outcome could change.

Some Republicans oppose the bill because it allows the state to contract with the current teacher training provider without seeking competing proposals.

Starting in spring 2019, third-graders would have to score higher to reach fourth grade.

State Superintendent Carey Wright wants to raise requirements because students now must score at only basic levels.

On one 2015 test, 35 percent of third-graders scored below levels similar to the bill requirements.

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