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Legislative Update

Education stakeholders/DPI request adjustment to new reading law implementation timeline

by | Feb 2, 2024 | Legislative Update Blog, State Issue

2023 Wisconsin Act 20, signed into law in 2023, makes major changes and includes new requirements related to reading instruction in all Wisconsin school districts (see WASB resources on Act 20 implementation). It has recently come to our attention from multiple school administrators that there is strong concern and uncertainty in the timeline for acquisition of the statewide screener and whether there will be sufficient time for schools to implement it in time for the 2024-25 school year.

A coalition of education stakeholder organizations, including WASB, sent a letter to Dr. Jill Underly and other key legislators detailing concerns and urging them to consider providing an extended implementation timeline. Yesterday, State Superintendent Underly joined in the request for an extension.

Our request is to require districts, during the 2024-25 school year, to begin to transition away from their current screener to the statewide required screener, with the expectation of full implementation of the statewide screener to begin the 2025-26 school year. This is a timeline that positions school districts to purposefully and confidently implement the requirements of 2023 Act 20.

To be clear, this is solely an effort to make the timeline more manageable and increase the likelihood for successful implementation of the new statewide reading screener. WASB also sent out an action alert this week to members to contact their lawmakers on the issue. Continued contact to state lawmakers on this issue will be helpful as we try to convince lawmakers to take action as we near the end of the legislative session and time is short.

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