LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Legislature has approved an early literacy bill that requires that third-graders be held back if they lag in reading, unless they qualify for an exemption.

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to sign the legislation that passed Wednesday.

Starting in the 2019-20 school year, third-graders wouldn’t advance unless their state reading score is less than a grade level behind, they show proficiency through an alternative assessment or they demonstrate mastery through work samples. Parents could seek a “good cause” exemption letting kids still be promoted to fourth grade.

The bill, which requires schools to intervene early when students are having reading problems, passed on 60-47 and 25-10 mostly party-line votes in the Republican-controlled Legislature. Democrats were largely opposed.