SB 304 - This act modifies provisions regarding literacy instruction.

Under this act, the State Board of Education shall align literacy and reading instruction coursework for teacher education programs and all reading and special education certificates shall include training as outlined in the act.

The State Board of Education, in collaboration with the Coordinating Board for Higher Education and the Commissioner's Advisory Council established by the act, shall develop a plan to establish a comprehensive system of services for reading instruction.

The act changes the term "reading intervention plans" to "reading success plans" throughout the act and applies provisions regarding such plans to charter schools. The development of guidelines for formulating policies for such plans is changed from the State Board of Education to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Each school district and charter school shall provide training on the administration and analysis of results of reading assessments to all kindergarten through fifth grade teachers and any other personnel who provide literacy instruction.

The act repeals current provisions regarding school intervention plans and creates requirements for school districts and charter schools to develop and implement a reading success plan for students in grades kindergarten through fifth who exhibit a reading deficiency, as defined in the act.

If a student has not already been determined to be reading at or above grade level in the current or previous year, the act requires each school district or charter school to administer a reading assessment within the first 45 days of school for grades one through five and by January 31st for kindergarten.

A reading success plan shall provide for additional targeted reading instruction that occurs in addition to the core reading instruction provided to all students in the general education classroom. The act sets forth methods for identification of students who need such a plan. The plan shall be developed by the student's teacher and other pertinent school personnel and in consultation with the parent or legal guardian. The reading intervention instruction and strategies provided under the reading success plan are outlined in the act.

School districts and charter schools shall continue to address reading deficiencies for a student in grades six through twelve who exhibits a reading deficiency for such time as the deficiency in reading ability creates a barrier to the student's success in school.

The act provides that a school district or charter school may, rather than shall, offer summer school reading instruction to any student with a reading success plan. The act further repeals a provision regarding retention of students that fail to attend summer school.

Finally, the act requires the Commissioner of Education to establish a literacy advisory council, with a membership as set forth in the act, to identify and recommend improvements to literacy instruction and policy.

This act is substantially similar to HB 2650 (2020) and HB 2671 (2020).


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