DES MOINES — Governor Kim Reynolds says it’s time to bolster literacy programs in the early grades in Iowa schools.

Reynolds has indicated raising teacher salaries would likely be a priority as well. “We’re going to continue to invest in education. It’s really important. We’re going to continue to invest in our teachers. We’re going to continue to invest in kids with special needs,” Reynolds says. We’re not where we need to be.”

The annual Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress last spring shows students from low income households had English proficiency scores that were about 15 points below the overall average, while students learning to speak and read English scored even lower.  “They deserve better and so we’re going to make sure that teachers have the tools that they need, that we’re really focused on early literacy, ESL, and again students with special needs,” Reynolds says. “We can do better. We will do better and we just need to make sure that we’re providing consistency and the rigor that’s important that will help us get the results that we need.”

Last spring’s test scores showed gains in the subject areas of math and science, but students with disabilities, English language learners and students from low income households scored significantly lower than the statewide average.