Celebrate Three Key 2019 Legislative Wins for Literacy
September 6, 2019

A week full of literacy-related holidays is the perfect opportunity to revisit Network members’ efforts to improve reading outcomes for students.

In honor of National Read a Book Day (Sept. 6) and International Literacy Day (Sept. 8), read on for details about successful legislative advocacy in Alabama, Colorado, and Georgia.

Alabama Literacy Act Provides Renewed Focus Reading 

In May, the Alabama legislature passed the Alabama Literacy Act, ushering in a renewed focus on pre-K to third grade reading. In this blog post, president Mark Dixon explained why A+ Education Partnership felt a sense of urgency in supporting this legislation, including several key tenets:

  • Targeted funding and resources to improve reading instruction
  • Stronger teacher preparation in college to ensure new teachers are prepared for science-based reading instruction
  • Early identification and additional support for students with dyslexia and other specific needs

According to Dixon, the bill is an important first step toward Alabama repeating its past success in achieving impressive statewide reading gains. Read more here.

Colorado Builds on Past Success of READ Act

Colorado’s READ Act, passed in 2012, is grounded in research on effective ways to teach reading and targets state funding to identify and support students that need it the most. In 2019, Colorado advocates including Stand for Children Colorado supported important READ Act updates via Senate Bill 199. 

According to director of government relations Amy Pitlik, “Senate Bill 199 underscores that K-3 literacy instructional programming needs to be based on evidence and science and include foundational skills.” The bill includes an expansion of the early literacy grant program, better supports for educators teaching students to read, and stronger accountability for how READ Act funding is spent. Learn more here

Georgia Coalition Advances Key Supports for Dyslexia

One of GeorgiaCAN’s legislative priorities, SB 48 will lead to early detection and support of dyslexic students. As part of the Decoding Dyslexia coalition, GeorgiaCAN helped advance legislation that establishes a process to screen, identify, and support students with dyslexia. 

Additional aspects of the legislation include:

  • A three-year pilot program to identify appropriate evidence-based practices for students with dyslexia
  • Coordination with the Professional Standards commission to help better prepare teachers
  • Creation of a dyslexia handbook to provide guidance, assistance and training to districts and teachers

Further details are available in GeorgiaCAN’s legislative wrap-up.

Interested in connecting with advocates who are prioritizing literacy policies? Reach out.

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Christina Dobratz

Christina is PIE Network's Manager, Communications & Policy  

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