HARRISBURG – With nearly half of Pennsylvania fourth-grade students reading below their grade-level, legislation to advance early literacy has been introduced with bipartisan support in the state House. Recognizing that childhood reading difficulties have negative impacts well into adulthood, House Bill 998 would create a three-stage approach to identify and address children with reading difficulties. First, the legislation would create an evidence-based reading curriculum. Next, a universal screening would be created, beginning in the first 30 days of school, to identify struggling readers. Finally, using the screening data, schools would design and implement intervention plans to prevent children from falling behind. The bill has been referred to the House Education Committee.