Vote Tracker

Senate Passes Reading Screening Bill for K-3

The Senate joined the House in passing House Bill 304, which requires all public school students in kindergarten through grade 3 participate in a universal reading screening 3 times each year to identify potential reading deficiencies, including dyslexia, and allow for early intervention and prevention. The vote was unanimous, 21-0.

State Senator Laura Sturgeon: “Over the past two sessions, Kim Williams and I have worked on a package of literacy bills to enhance reading skills among our youngest learners. The research is clear that students who are not reading on level by third grade keep falling further and further behind, and are at risk for poor outcomes as adults. On the other hand, students who are taught to read using evidence-based methods rooted in phonics instruction and those whose language-based learning disabilities are caught and addressed early using good screening tools are able to build on their early successes throughout their academic lives and beyond.

SB 133, SB 4 and HB 304 ensure that all Delaware K-3 students are taught to read by teachers who are trained in evidence-based reading instruction, have access to high-quality curricular materials rooted in the science of reading, and are screened for dyslexia and other language-based reading disabilities so that early intervention can occur.

Today’s unanimous passage of HB304 in the Senate marks the final step in our plan to close the literacy gap for Delaware students. Thank you to all the advocates who worked so hard to make this happen.”

House Bill 304 SponsorsYes VotesNo Votes
K.Williams, Baumbach, Heffernan, K.Johnson, Kowalko, Longhurst, Morrison, OsienskiHouse Passes 40-0-1. Baumbach Bennett Bentz Bolden Friel Bush Carson Chukwuocha Cooke Dorsey-Walker Griffith Heffernan K.Johnson K.Williams Kowalko Lambert Longhurst Lynn Matthews Minor-Brown Mitchell Morrison Osienski S.Moore Schwartzkopf Wilson-Anton  Briggs King Collins D.Short Dukes Gray Hensley M.Smith Morris Postles Ramone Shupe Smyk Spiegelman Vanderwende Absent: Yearick
Sturgeon, McBride, Lockman, Hansen, SokolaSenate Passes 21-0. Brown Ennis Gay Hansen Lockman Mantzavinos Paradee Pinkney Poore S.McBride Sokola Sturgeon Townsend Walsh Bonini Hocker Lawson Lopez Pettyjohn Richardson WilsonNone
Current Status: Sent to the Governor

House Bill 304 tasks the Department of Education with compiling a list of reading screeners as well as literacy intervention approaches that are aligned with the science of reading that charter schools and districts may use. The Department will take into account the science of reading and evidence-based research in creating the list as well as the alignment of screeners and interventions with a multi-tiered system of support.

The Department is also required to consider the burden on schools to administer screeners and the amenability of the screener to being incorporated into ongoing instruction.

Charter schools and districts are additionally required to provide the results of each screening to a student’s parent – which may be done by adding it to existing communications such as report cards or progress reports. Finally, charter schools and districts must report, by grade, the number of students in kindergarten through grade 3 determined to have potential reading deficiencies and what intervention approach is being used, as well as the number of students receiving dyslexia specific interventions.

The Department of Education is tasked with compiling this information into a report for the General Assembly, the State Board of Education, and the Governor.

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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