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GOP Lawmakers Take Second Run at Reading Assessment Bill

By John Forester | January 11, 2022

From WisPolitics.com …

Two GOP lawmakers signaled today they will take a second run at legislation that sought to overhaul how elementary schools work with students struggling to read.Gov. Tony Evers in November vetoed SB 454, which would’ve tripled the number of literacy tests young students take. It also would require educators to create a reading plan for students identified as at-risk, and Evers wrote in his veto message he objected to the bill because it lacked funding to cover the costs.Sen. Kathy Bernier, R-Chippewa Falls, and Rep. Joel Kitchens, R-Sturgeon Bay, wrote to Evers today they are adding an amendment to the Assembly version of the bill. It would direct the guv to use at least $5 million in federal ARPA funds for grants to schools for teacher professional development and implementing the costs of the proposed assessments and interventions.While Evers vetoed the Senate bill, the Assembly version remains alive.Bernier and Kitchens wrote in their letter the state already reimburses the costs schools incur for screeners. They pointed to the $15.3 billion the state budget currently invests in K-12 education, the $2.7 billion in federal COVID-19 funds schools are set to receive and the $110 million in ARPA funds he has directed to schools. They pointed to the remaining ARPA funds if Evers believes more money is needed.Evers has nixed a series of GOP bills that have tried to dictate how he spends ARPA funds. Under federal law, he has sole discretion on how those funds are spent.“It’s not a question of if, but when Wisconsin will adopt these science-based reforms. Governor Evers, if you don’t sign this bill into law, someone else will,” the Republicans wrote..See the amendment here.

See the release here.

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