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Updates on Michigan's Literacy for All Bills

Contributed by: Joy Lyman, 313Reads Michigan Education Policy Fellow with Teach for America Detroit

February has been a busy month for the Literacy for All bills currently going through the legislative process in the Michigan Senate. Senate Bills 567 and 568 have been approved by the Senate Education Committee and recommended them to be passed by the Senate.

Senate Education Committee votes on SB 567 and 568

Photo: Senate Education Committee Meeting Stream

Michigan SB567 mandates the screening of K-3 students for decoding and word recognition difficulties as well as 4-12 students  with reading difficulties. In addition, educators will participate in professional learning in literacy instructional practices grounded in the science of reading, characteristics of dyslexia and supporting students in a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS). 

Michigan SB568 requires that teacher preparation programs offer dyslexia and evidence-based reading instruction and supports grounded in the science of reading as a part of coursework.

The Education Committee has had several hearings in recent weeks to discuss the contents of the bills and concerns and questions they raise. 313Reads Coalition members and collaborators,who  testified in support of these important bills for advancing education and literacy equity in our state included Dr. Adrea Truckenmiller, who sits on our Steering Committee, and our Executive Director, Dr. Leah van Belle.

Dr. Leah van Belle testifies to the MI Senate Education Committee

Photo: Senate Education Committee Meeting Stream

We’re grateful that our coalition’s testimony added to the support of these bills and that they both passed from committee, and now await a vote by the chamber.

There were some amendments and changes made to the bills as approved by the education committee. These changes include:

  • Changing the implementation start date to the 2027-28 school year.

  • Changing the deadline for the Department of Education to update their list of assessments to adhere to the contents of the bill to between August 1, 2024, and December 1, 2025.

  • Specifying in what cases instructional methods that do not adhere to the science of reading would be disallowed.

  • Clarifying that intermediate school district literacy coaches will not be providing the mentoring and professional development functions outlined in the bill.

  • Student’s individual reading plans will no longer be reported to intermediate school districts.

This is an exciting step for the Literacy for All bills in the Michigan Senate. The next step in their journey to becoming law is for them to be voted on and approved by the full Senate. This step has to happen prior to the end of this legislative session (at the end of the 2024 calendar year) in order for the bills to become law.

Dr. Adrea Truckenmiller (committee member who testified in support of the bills) pictured with Joy Lyman (313Reads Michigan Education Policy Fellow)

Photo: Courtesy of Joy Lyman


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