Alabama Literacy Act could face delays in first year
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Changes may be coming to a law that just went into effect this year. The Alabama Literacy Act states that if a third-grader is not reading at grade level by the end of the school year the child could be at risk of being retained.
The law was passed in 2019 but did not go into effect until this school year.
Alabama House Representative, Tracy Estes says the law could already be facing proposed changes by the Alabama Board of Education.
“They would like to see a two-year delay on the retention phase only. As a whole, they really like the literacy act,” said Estes.
Portions of the law like frequent reading level tests for kindergarten through third grade are here to stay, but school leaders and parents say penalizing students after a pandemic year is harsh.
“What I anticipate is they are probably going with the option to delay one year with a two-year delay pending the 2022 test scores,” said Estes.
Claire Waldrop is one of just 40 Certified Academic Language Therapists in Alabama. She says we shouldn’t delay the inevitable.
“We are 49th…. In the United States we are 49th,” said Waldrop.
Waldrop says other states that have gone forward with similar laws are seeing success.
“In Mississippi, there were a lot of outraged parents, that were not happy with that situation, but they are ahead of us,” said Waldrop.
The final decision will be up to lawmakers.
“It was done in a logical approach to make sure safety nets were built in. We are making sure our teachers, the frontline defense for our children. Is to make sure our teachers have all the tools necessary to give our children every opportunity to succeed,” said Estes.
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