The legislature’s education committees took up a bill aimed at boosting reading levels in Wisconsin schools. The proposal would create a Read to Lead Development Council housed in the office of the Governor, which will help channel private money into schools for reading improvement.
Senate sponsor Luther Olsen said there are already private funds available but the process of selecting the schools needs to be fairer. The Republican lawmaker says donors will often choose to give to an individual school district. “So some school districts get money and some don’t.”
The bill also requires reading evaluations for all incoming public school kindergarteners. Senate Democrat Kathleen Vinehout has heard criticisms about the idea. “The concerns I have from parents is they don’t want their five-year-olds tested.”
The legislation also requires testing of future K-5 teachers, in their knowledge of reading development.
The council will consist of the governor, the state superintendent of public instruction, four legislators, and 15 additional members appointed by the governor.
AUDIO: Co-sponsor Rep. Steve Kestell outlines bill (2:22)