Last week was a whirlwind at the Capitol and we’ve got progress to show for it! The pace was fast and furious all week, with a Friday deadline spurring legislators to debate bills well into the night.
The good news? Three bills in the ‘Literacy and Justice for All’ bill package passed the House or the Senate on Friday!
We couldn’t have done this without you! Advocates continue to send a strong signal to Springfield that these initiatives have deep support across the state. This month, we’ve sent over 1,500 emails to legislators in support of literacy and youth justice. (Did you send yours yet? Click these links and check it off your to-do list!)
A quick update on where things stand with these (and a few other momentous bills we’re supporting!):
- Early Literacy: HB2872 and SB2243, bills instructing the State Board of Education to create a statewide literacy plan, and HB3147, the comprehensive Literacy and Justice for All bill to help fix the literacy crisis, passed their first major hurdle! (That is, the House bills passed the House and the Senate bill passed the Senate. Now they will switch places and work their way through the other chamber.)
- Youth Justice: SB1463 and HB3120 passed committee and we anticipate a floor vote in the Senate this week. The bills would eliminate juvenile court fees and fines, a step toward economic justice for our state.
- Full-Day Kindergarten: HB 2396 requires school districts to offer full-day kindergarten by 2027. It passed the House and moves to the Senate.
- Trauma-Responsive Schools: HB 342 responds to the Whole Child Task Force, created by the Legislative Black Caucus’s historic “education pillar” two years ago. Under the bill, which passed the House, the state would develop a Children’s Adversity Index, make licensure recommendations to ensure teachers are prepared to support children with trauma, and add ratios of social workers to the school report card.
- Dual-Credit Teacher Shortage: HB 1213 passed the House, creating a scholarship program for teachers to pursue the coursework needed to teach Dual Credit.
We will keep you posted as things continue to move in Springfield. Get ready for more advocacy opportunities to keep up the growing momentum on our legislative priorities!
Thank you for your partnership and support.