GLEP Applauds Passage of Early Literacy Bill

House and Senate approve (again) HB 4822, the K-3 reading bill

Lansing, MI (Sept 21, 2016)– Today the full State Senate and the House of Representatives voted to approve the joint conference committee report, on votes of 25-10 and 60-47, a compromise version of HB 4822, the K-3 reading bill sponsored by Rep. Amanda Price (R-Park Township), Chair of the House Education Committee.

“As the earliest proponent of improving early literacy, GLEP is pleased both the Senate and the House have voted (again) to pass HB 4822. This new law will improve early literacy by focusing on annual screening; parental notification and participation; targeted strategies and tutoring for struggling readers; and intensive intervention for students reading behind grade level,” said Gary Naeyaert, executive director of the Great Lakes Education Project (GLEP).price-reads

The bill had been in a Senate-House conference committee since slightly different versions were passed in the Senate earlier this year and in the House last year. Negotiations between key legislators had been ongoing all summer, and this is the last week both Senate and House members will be in Lansing until December’s lame duck legislation session.

“Given that less than 50% of Michigan’s 3rd grade students are proficient readers, it’s critical that we adopt a laser focus to address early literacy. Following the success in Florida for this type of approach, we’ll be helping kids learn to read in order for them to read to learn in later grades. For the sake of students and the state’s future, we urge Governor Snyder to sign this bill as soon as possible,” Naeyaert continued.

“This bill is a huge step forward in setting the expectation that students must read on grade level in order to be successful. Provided our school districts implement the features of this bill with fidelity, we should soon see a noticeable increase in reading proficiency for students in grades K-3, which will make a real difference for thousands of students,” Naeyaert concluded.

GLEP plans to aggressively monitor both implementation efforts and reading proficiency results in each school district across the state in the coming years.

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