Senator Laura Sturgeon has introduced Senate Bill 4 seeking to strengthen literacy among Delaware students.
Evidence-based reading instruction, or the “science of reading,” focuses on understanding the cognitive learning processes that are essential for reading proficiency. Implementing curricula that supports the science of reading is a recommended best practice for helping students learning to read in kindergarten through the third grade. This legislation not only gives guidance on high-quality instructional materials, but also supports educators and supplies them with the resources needed to teach reading using evidence-based techniques.
Senate Bill 4 requires the Delaware Department of Education to maintain and publish a list of evidence-based, reading instruction curricula. The bill also requires that by the beginning of the 2027-2028 school year, school districts and charter schools serving students in grades K-3 do all of the following:
- Adopt a reading instruction curriculum from the Department list.
- Demonstrate that all educators who teach reading participate in high-quality professional learning about evidence-based reading instruction.
- Identify a school-based supervisory position responsible for assisting with the implementation of the adopted curriculum.
In addition, SB4 requires that school districts and charter schools provide an annual report to the Department regarding the implementation of these requirements and the Department must produce an annual report summarizing this information.
|Senate Bill 4 Sponsors||Yes Votes||No Votes|
|Sturgeon, McBride, Hansen, Lockman, Mantzavinos, Sokola, Townsend, Walsh, Bonini|
|K.Williams, Heffernan, Baumbach, Morrison|
|Current Status: Senate Education 3/24/22|
“We know from the 2019 Delaware Literacy Plan that only about half of Delaware students are reading at grade level,” said Sen. Sturgeon, a former teacher in the Brandywine and New Castle County Vo-tech school districts. “This legislation in conjunction with legislation I introduced and passed last year around teacher preparation programs will put us on a path to ensuring every teacher in the state has the necessary training and materials to effectively teach reading to all students.”
Sen. Sturgeon also introduced Senate Concurrent Resolution 82 that helps the Department of Education assess how best to adapt teacher certification requirements to align with the science of reading.