Letter: Support increased funding for Reading Corps and Math Corps

To the Editor,
Nearly one in three third-graders across the state aren’t up to grade level in reading and more than 40 percent of Minnesota eighth-graders are not proficient in math. If a child reads proficiently by third grade, they are four times more likely to graduate from high school. High school graduation means higher lifetime earnings and far better career opportunities. Careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are some of the fastest growing and best paying jobs out there, yet too many Minnesota students aren’t on track to be ready for the 21st century workforce.

Labor market experts are raising alarms over the gap between the math skills of high school and college graduates and the math skills required to fill the jobs of the future.

Now state legislators are considering an increase in state investment for Reading Corps and Math Corps, two programs that are helping more kids be successful in school and life.

Highly trained Reading Corps and Math Corps tutors use data-driven, one-on-one instruction methods proven to increase student proficiency in these critical skills.

But many more kids need this help and increased state funding will get them this necessary assistance. With a state investment of $325 per student per year in Reading Corps and Math Corps, it’s clear that this is a wise choice for lawmakers to make.
Thankfully Sen. Paul Anderson is taking a leadership role in ensuring that our kids right here, and kids across the state have the support they need. Please let him and Rep. Jon Applebaum know you support the increase in state funding for Reading Corps and Math Corps so we can help our children and ensure tomorrow’s workforce is strong.

Kate Kelly
Kelly is the board chair for ServeMinnesota, the nonprofit that deploys Americorp volunteers.