Jeb Bush boosts Fletcher campaign in visit here

By BETH CRACE State Journal Staff Writer Published:

Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says it's rare for him to leave his home state.

That's what the Republican governor and brother of the president told an audience of public officials, students, parents and media gathered at Peaks Mill Elementary Tuesday. Bush, in town to support Republican gubernatorial candidate Ernie Fletcher, called himself "the more reclusive" Bush.

"To get me out of my state that I love is indicative of my respect for you," Bush said to Fletcher. "... Kentucky will be better off with your leadership."

Fletcher announced his plan for early reading intervention at the local elementary school, as nearly 75 students stood in the background. Later in the evening, hundreds gathered at former Republican Gov. Louie Nunn's home in Woodford County for a campaign fund-raiser for Fletcher.

At Peaks Mill, Fletcher announced a plan to increase reading ability among grade school students. Fletcher said he supported early reading intervention programs, and wants to set a statewide goal that would have every child reading proficiently by third grade.

To do that, Fletcher touted a plan that would instruct the state to help school districts obtain federal grants, known as Early Reading First funds. He said the state Department of Education would assist school districts obtain federal grants.

Fletcher also said he wanted to expand the early-reading incentive grant program passed by the state legislature in 1998.

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