Big win for struggling readers
We’re excited to let you know that HB2520, a bill to strengthen existing reading policies, was signed this week by Governor Ducey. We are especially grateful to Representative Coleman for sponsoring this bill and fighting for our students. This is one of our top priorities, and we’re glad that the legislature agreed that helping struggling readers is critical.
We’re also happy that they saw early literacy as a worthy investment. Next year, schools with high percentages of students in poverty will receive $12 million in targeted early literacy funding – up from $8 million this year.
Reading matters because, by fourth grade, a child should be reading to learn, not learning to read. Despite its importance, only 56% of students are reading at grade level.
HB 2520 will improve existing reading policies by requiring those seeking a K-8 teaching certificate to complete three credit hours of reading instruction. It also updates the way students are taught based on the latest research and adds accountability and transparency to the early literacy funding.
This legislative session drew a lot of attention to the issues of school funding and teacher pay. While those important conversations happened, we’re pleased that other needed steps were taken to help kids read.