HARRISBURG – A bill to change how PA students are taught to read was approved by the state Senate Education Committee by a unanimous, bipartisan vote. Senate Bill 801, sponsored by Lancaster County Republican Sen. Ryan Aument and Philadelphia County Democrat Sen. Anthony Williams, would create a screening process to identify struggling readers and implement plans to prevent children from falling behind. PSSA scores for third graders last year show that almost half of PA students are not proficient in reading. A public hearing on the measure was held after a New York Times article showed how Mississippi successfully improved in reading without massive spending increases, after many years of ranking among the worst in the nation. After implementing similar reforms, Mississippi fourth graders from low-income families are now ranked first in the nation on reading tests according to the National Assessment of Education Progress, all while spending the fifth-least per student in the nation. The PA bill now advances to the full Senate for consideration.