Passage of third-grade reading bill good start, broader efforts to address poverty still needed

Contact: Alex Rossman
arossman@mlpp.org
517.487.5436

LANSING—The Michigan League for Public Policy issued the following statement on the Michigan Legislature’s passage of third-grade reading legislation today. The statement can be attributed to Michigan League for Public Policy President and CEO Gilda Z. Jacobs.

“This effort to improve third-grade reading in Michigan has been challenging, but the final compromise passed today keeps the needs of Michigan students and their families at the forefront. While there are areas that still could be improved with this bill, we appreciate the diligence of lawmakers to see this bill come to fruition and to thoughtfully work on an agreement that is largely positive. We are pleased to see the number of exemptions, including empowering parents, as well as early and ongoing interventions and extra support for English language learners.

“Literacy is the cornerstone of all other learning through school and into the workforce, and Michigan’s third-grade reading numbers have been declining for too long. This bill will help turn things around and get Michigan students back on track. While this addresses one part of the equation of Michigan’s faltering education outcomes, more targeted efforts are needed to address poverty and hunger, which significantly affect learning for kids of all ages and grades.”

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The Michigan League for Public Policy, www.mlpp.org, is a nonprofit policy institute focused on economic opportunity for all. It is the only state-level organization that addresses poverty in a comprehensive way.