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Title: LEARN Act
Introduced: Apr 18, 2013 (113th Congress)
Sponsor: Sen. Patty Murray [D-WA]
Status: Referred to Committee - Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
Summary: Literacy Education for All, Results for the Nation Act or the LEARN Act - Authorizes the Secretary of Education to award planning grants to states to complete comprehensive planning to carry out activities that improve literacy for children from birth through grade 12. Requires grantees to form or designate a state literacy leadership team, composed of individuals having certain literacy expertise, to guide the development and implementation of the comprehensive, statewide literacy plan. Directs the Secretary to award grants to states to implement their comprehensive literacy plans and to award competitive subgrants to: (1) local educational agencies (LEAs) and early childhood education providers that serve high-need children to support certain early literacy initiatives for children from birth through kindergarten entry; and (2) LEAs that serve a high number or proportion of low-income children, children reading or writing below grade level, or schools identified as needing improvement to implement certain literacy initiatives for children in kindergarten through grade 12. Includes among the literacy initiatives: (1) the acquisition and implementation of literacy assessments, (2) efforts targeting students reading and writing below grade level, (3) professional development opportunities for educators, and (4) family literacy services. Requires state grantees to: (1) provide technical assistance to subgrantees, (2) work with the state literacy leadership team and institutions of higher education to include evidence-based literacy methods in preservice courses for students preparing to teach children from birth through grade 12, (3) review and update state licensure or certification standards in literacy instruction, and (4) make information on promising child literacy improvement practices available to the public. Awards the implementation grants to states: (1) if funds appropriated under this Act fall below $500 million, on a competitive basis; and (2) otherwise, on the basis of each state's share of low-income children under age 18. Requires states to use at least: (1) 15% of the grant funds for state and local activities pertaining to children from birth through kindergarten entry, (2) 40% of the grant funds for state and local activities pertaining to children from kindergarten through grade 5, and (3) 40% of the grant funds for state and local activities pertaining to children from grades 6 through 12. Requires states to give subgrant priority to applicants serving a high number or percentage of impoverished children and, for those serving students from kindergarten through grade 12, a high number or percentage of students reading and writing below grade level. Directs the Secretary to arrange for an independent five-year evaluation of this Act's grant and subgrant programs and make the findings and the results of additional research on literacy instruction available to literacy providers. Allows the Secretary to withhold this Act's grants to states, and allows states to withhold this Act's subgrants to LEAs and early childhood education providers, that are not making significant progress in improving student academic achievement in reading and writing from early education through grade 12.