Nevada garners $14.5 million reading grant

Nevada has received a $14.5 million federal grant because of improvement in students' reading skills.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Keith Rheault announced the Striving Readers grant on Tuesday during a meeting of the Legislature's Interim Finance Committee in Carson City . Legislators by law had to approve receipt of the grant.

Rheault said the state received the money because fourth- and eighth-grade students over the last eight years have ranked in the top quarter of students in showing improvement on reading and math tests.

His announcement pleased legislators, who are used to hearing students ranked at or near the bottom on standardized tests.

"You stated we ranked in the top quarter?" said Sen. Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas. "We obviously are doing some things right."

Rheault, however, pointed out that Nevada students "started out at a pretty low level."

Schools can apply for the funds for use in programs to help students improve their reading.