Last week Congressman Jared Polis (D-Colo.) introduced in the House of Representatives the Literacy Education for All, Results for the Nation Act.
Co-sponsored by John Yarmuth, D-Ky., the LEARN Act provides federal investment for states to develop and implement comprehensive literacy plans for children from birth through the 12th grade, according to a Polis office news release.
“Students need access to high-quality literacy instruction, as well as enjoyable and rigorous texts in order to develop a love for reading and build a foundation for success,” Polis said in the release. “I am proud to join Representative Yarmuth in working to provide students the support they need from birth through high school graduation so that they are able to become avid readers.”
The LEARN Act would support the creation and expansion of literacy initiatives and require a rigorous review process to ensure those programs are benefitting students, the release stated. The legislation would also support ongoing professional development for instructors and additional instruction for struggling readers and writers, including English language learners and students with disabilities.
According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, two-thirds of all 4th and 8th graders do not read at a proficient level, the release stated.
Every year, approximately 1.2 million students fail to graduate from high school, costing the country more than $300 billion over the lifetime of these individuals, according to the release.