Michigan Must Fund Literacy

Posted by Lamar Weir on 12/8/2021 1:30:00 PM

After years of not making investments in education a priority, Michigan legislators have begun placing emphasis on supporting our students. On December 2, the Michigan Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on K-12 Education met jointly with the Michigan Department of Education to discuss how to improve students' reading abilities and provide more reliable internet services to schools and communities who need it most.  

State Superintendent Rice led a presentation which showed that before the pandemic, MI students were improving in reading proficiency according to standardized tests. In 2015, MI students ranked 41st in the nation, but by 2019 that ranking had improved to 32nd. Despite the significant jump, many legislators are hoping to implement a package of dyslexia bills for additional support to early elementary students and provide educators with more training. DPSCD was also awarded a grant through the Michigan Department of Education to create a literacy plan. This includes diversifying the literature students have access to so that their libraries include more authors of color.  

As you may recall, there was a literacy lawsuit won by Detroit families over the lack of adequate support from the state for our students. During the meeting, Detroit Caucus member Rep. Shri Thanedar reminded the other legislators that Governor Whitmer assured the Detroit families that DPSCD will receive an additional $94 million dollars to support its schools. Unfortunately, as it stands today, there is still work to be done. We must continue to push our legislators for the funding our students need. Our future depends on it