The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has announced that it will not hold an Early Reading First (ERF) competition this year due to the elimination of funding for this program in 2010. This cut will not affect current ERF grantees. The ERF program is a competitive grant initiative intended to enhance reading readiness for preschool children in high poverty areas and in schools where there are high numbers of students who are not reading at grade level. On December 16, 2009, President Obama signed into law H.R. 3288, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010, which provides 2010 funding for ED and other federal agencies.
While Early Reading First was not funded in this bill, the law does contain $250 million for a new comprehensive literacy program that would expand the Striving Readers program to serve children from grade 6 through 12. Additional information on the Striving Readers program can be found on ED's Web site. For more information, please contact Catherine D. Clarke, ASHA's Director of Education and Regulatory Advocacy, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 800-498-2071, ext. 4159.