Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Michigan Governor Rick Synder signed HB 4822 into law, placing a command focus on early literacy for all Michigan elementary schools and ensuring every Michigan child can read before leaving third grade. Sponsored in the legislature by Representative Amanda Price, the new law was developed with recommendations from Governor Snyder’s bipartisan Third Grade Reading Workgroup.
“In Florida, we demonstrated that a command focus on literacy is key to raising student achievement because there is no skill more critical in life than the ability to read,” said former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education. “I thank and applaud Governor Snyder and the Michigan Legislature for their unwavering commitment to ensuring Michigan’s students are prepared for the challenges and opportunities ahead in school and the workforce.”
According to the Nation’s Report Card, the percentage of students in Michigan who performed at or above the National Assessment of Educational Progress Proficient level was only 29 percent in 2015. The new law directs schools to focus on identifying students with reading difficulties early and providing the interventions those students need to master basic reading skills by the end of third grade.
“The ability to read opens doors and opportunities for all children. The new law signed by Governor Snyder today was developed to ensure all students enter the fourth grade with the foundational reading skills needed to learn, graduate and succeed,” said Patricia Levesque, CEO of the Foundation for Excellence in Education. “Governor Snyder and state legislative leaders have taken a bold step forward to better the futures of Michigan’s children.”
“We’re excited about the positive impact this will have on student achievement,” said Gary Naeyaert, Executive Director of the Great Lakes Education Project. “More than any other reform, improving early literacy will provide dividends for our students and our state for years to come.”