Sen. James Evans, R-Rose Park, is visiting school boards to explain how they can get money under the governor's reading initiative.
Evans last week spoke with the Granite Board of Education, which could receive $2.1 million of the $15 million in state funds if it provides $1.95 million in matching money. He will talk to the Salt Lake City Board of Education next month, and also has Jordan on his radar screen.
Evans wants districts to understand they can do several things — shuffle local or federal money, raise property taxes an average $8 per $100,000 home, or a combination of these — to come up with matching dollars.
The Legislature coughed up the $15 million as part of Gov. Olene Walker's efforts to improve reading up through third grade. The money came under SB230, which Evans sponsored.
All districts can get $29,300 by creating a districtwide reading plan — which many already have — and having it approved by the State Office of Education. Progress will be measured. Those that don't meet reading plan goals within three years must rescind any tax raised to get the money, Evans said.
State money available to each district was calculated based on number of students and poverty. Granite stands to receive the most, followed by Jordan with $1.7 million, Davis, $1.6 million, and Alpine, $1.4 million.