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105 ILCS 5/2-3.51a

    (105 ILCS 5/2-3.51a)
    Sec. 2-3.51a. Continued Reading Improvement Block Grant Program. To improve the reading and study skills of children from seventh through twelfth grade in school districts. The State Board of Education is authorized to administer a Continued Reading Improvement Block Grant Program. As used in this Section, "school district" includes those schools designated as laboratory schools.
    (a) Funds for the Continued Reading Improvement Block Grant Program shall be distributed to school districts on the following basis: 70% of moneys shall be awarded on the prior year's best 3 months average daily attendance and 30% shall be distributed on the number of economically disadvantaged (E.C.I.A. Chapter I) pupils in the district, provided that the State Board may distribute an amount not to exceed 2% of the moneys appropriated for the Continued Reading Improvement Block Grant Program for the purpose of providing teacher training and re-training in the teaching of reading. Program funds shall be distributed to school districts in 2 semi-annual installments, one payment on or before October 30 and one payment prior to April 30 of each year. The State Board shall adopt any rules necessary for the implementation of this program.
    (b) Continued Reading Improvement Block Grant Program funds shall be used by school districts in the following manner to support students in grades 7 through 12 who are reading significantly below grade level:
        (1) to continue direct reading instruction for grades
7 through 12, focusing on the application of reading skills for understanding informational text;
        (2) to focus on and to commit time and resources to
the reading of rich literature;
        (3) to conduct intense vocabulary, spelling, and
related writing programs that promote better understanding of language and words;
        (4) to provide professional development based on
scientifically based research and best practices and delivered by providers approved by the State Board of Education; and
        (5) to increase the availability of reading
specialists and teacher aides trained in research-based reading intervention or improvement practices or both.
    (c) Continued Reading Improvement Block Grant Program funds shall be made available to each eligible school district submitting an approved application developed by the State Board, beginning with the 2003-2004 school year. Applications shall include a proposed assessment method or methods for measuring student reading skills. Such methods may include the reading portion of State tests. At the end of each school year the district shall report assessment results to the State Board. Districts not demonstrating performance progress using an approved assessment method shall not be eligible for funding in the third or subsequent years until such progress is established.
    (d) The State Superintendent of Education, in cooperation with the school districts participating in the program, shall annually report to the leadership of the General Assembly on the results of the Continued Reading Improvement Block Grant Program and the progress being made on improving the reading skills of students in grades 7 through 12.
    (e) Grants under the Continued Reading Improvement Block Grant Program shall be awarded provided there is an appropriation for the program, and funding levels for each district shall be prorated according to the amount of the appropriation. Funding for the program established under Section 2-3.51 of this Code shall not be reduced in order to fund the Continued Reading Improvement Block Grant Program.
(Source: P.A. 93-53, eff. 7-1-03.)