Governor Kathy Hochul’s second proposal of 2024, as part of the State of the State, is titled the ‘Back to Basics’ plan. It focuses on improving reading proficiency in New York.
These proposals are part of Governor Hochul’s broader agenda to enhance educational standards and literacy rates in New York, particularly focusing on improving reading proficiency through scientifically proven methods and enhanced teacher training.
Here’s a summary of the proposed changes to law and the subjects they correspond with:
Legislation for Evidence-Based Reading Instruction:
- Introduce legislation requiring the State Education Department (SED) to promulgate instructional best practices in reading instruction.
- Mandate school districts to adopt these practices, which include teaching phonemic awareness, phonics, decoding, vocabulary, and comprehension.
- By September 2025, all school districts must certify with the SED that their curriculum, instructional strategies, and teacher professional development align with these instructional best practices.
Investment in Teacher Training:
- Propose a $10 million state investment for training 20,000 teachers and elementary school teaching assistants in the Science of Reading instructional best practices.
- Collaboration with New York State United Teachers and the United Federation Teachers, who have already begun training thousands of teachers in the Science of Reading.
Enhancing and Expanding SUNY and CUNY Microcredential Programs:
- Plan includes enhancing and expanding the SUNY and CUNY Microcredential Program for Teachers.
- Focus on the Science of Reading to ensure current and future teachers seeking advanced education are best prepared.