The Senate Education Committee unanimously recommended a bill giving public schools $5 million to offer impoverished children a couple of extra hours of instruction each day.
SB43, proposed by Sen. Stuart Reid, R-Ogden, would create a fund that the State Board of Education would distribute via grants to schools.
Children born into families that have been impoverished for generations often do not do well in school, Reid told the committee Monday.
“These kids start out behind, they never catch up, they get discouraged and they fail … and it just cascades in their life,” Reid said.
Teachers would be able to give more individual attention after school to bring struggling children up to speed, he said. The program would be voluntary.
The bill has the support of the Intergenerational Welfare Reform Commission as well as the Utah State Board of Education.
It now moves to the full Senate.