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Science of reading bill sails through Senate, awaits Carney’s signature

Jarek RutzEducation, Headlines


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A bill aimed at combating the sharp decline in Delaware’s literacy rates since 2002 swept through the General Assembly.

It unanimously passed the Senate Tuesday, following a unanimous vote in the House last week.

“I predict that in 10 years we are going to be in the top 10 states in reading proficiency because of what we’re doing here today,” said SB 4 sponsor Sen. Laura Sturgeon, D-Greenville.

Gov. John Carney now has 10 days to either sign or veto the bill. If he chooses to do nothing, the bill passes after those 10 days of inaction.

Two amendments were added to the bill. 

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One would allow teacher leaders to take on the responsibility for implementing the science of reading curricula, not just a building level supervisor as previously written. 

This will give teachers great leadership experience and could help them rise in the pay schedule, something that the General Assembly has recently legislated to try to increase teacher salaries.

That first amendment says that not every school has to have a reading coach. There could be a district-level coach floating from school to school in the state’s smaller districts, Sturgeon said. 

The second amendment would allow schools and districts to apply to the state to add a curriculum they believe meets that criteria added to the curated list that the state Department of Education will create.

“This just strengthens the language that the locals can ask and should be approved for curriculum as long as they meet the core components of evidence based reading,” Sturgeon said. 


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