The Senate has passed a bill aimed at boosting students' chances of success through an expansion of 4-year-old kindergarten and early intervention in reading.
Senators voted 36-6 on Wednesday on a bi-partisan compromise of the so-called Read to Succeed bill.
It combined Democrats' push to make 4-year-old kindergarten available to all at-risk students with Republicans' bill aimed at ensuring students can read by fourth grade. It calls for a coordinated focus on reading that includes reading coaches, summer reading camps and teacher training.
Beginning with the 2017-18 school year, students still struggling to read by the end of third grade would be held back for intensive help.
Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler got teary-eyed after its passage, as he dedicated the vote to all South Carolinians who don't read well.