BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — As a push for kids to get more reading help outside of school, Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ education reform plan would offer $500 to kindergarten through third-grade students who can’t read at grade level.
TLC Tutoring is a company based in Arkansas with locations in Bentonville, Fayetteville, Jonesboro, and Little Rock. Owner and CEO J.J. Thompson said $500 could sign your kid up for 10 months of the company’s base-level service, which he said could really boost kids’ reading skills if they’re able to work on their own time.
Although for kids who are really behind, Thompson said they will need more intensive one-on-one time with a tutor. In this case, $500 would only pay for 10 hours of help.
Another local tutoring service, Do Better College, also charges $500 for non-members to receive 10 hours of individual help. At L.O.V.E. Tutoring & Consulting in Fayetteville, one weekly 35-minute one-on-one session costs $30.
According to ACT Aspire, 35% of third graders in Arkansas can’t read at grade level. Thompson said it’s because teachers aren’t able to give individual reading attention to each kid in their classroom.
“I don’t know that $500 will completely absolve the parents need to pay partially for some of this program if you really want your child to excel. I think it’s a great starting point and it could certainly take a huge chunk out of this cost for a family who was just trying to make sure that their student has every opportunity available,” said Thompson.
Also, in the Arkansas LEARNS’ initiative, Gov. Sanders promises to deploy 120 literacy coaches to schools across the state.
Thompson said he isn’t sure how the money will roll out to parents but thinks it’ll help parents make the decision to seek outside reading help.