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  • wnelson20

New Legislation in the Works!

It turns out that the Washington State House of Representatives is currently considering a bill that would require training public school teachers in the science of reading. This would be a huge step forward for our state, if we can get it moved from the Education Committee into the full house for a vote.


Here's what you need to know:



And here's what you can do to help:


1.      Please send a letter to one or more members of the House Education Committee (see list below) in support of HB 2284 by Tuesday, January 16, 2024.   We have listed all the members of the committee with a direct link to their e-mail.  You can use the same letter with each person or send them different versions.  Please send your letter(s) to as many representatives as you can!

 

  • Click this link to find your district.

  • Choose your representative if they are part of the Education Committee. If not, feel free to send a message to any representative who is (see list below).

  • You will see an email template with a place to enter your address, contact information, and the Bill Number. Enter 2284.

  • Choose Support.

  • Enter your email text.

  • Click on Send Comment.

 

Below are some suggested starters if you want ideas on how to comment on this bill. Please feel free to copy, paste, and if you want, adjust the letter to your personal situation. 

 

2.      Please share this letter with anyone you know who personally understands the value of literacy and the need to provide teachers with essential training to support all students. We can do this!!

 

Legislators on the House Education Committee:

Name

District

Address

Phone

e-mail

Santos, Sharon Tomiko (D)

Chair

37th

321 John L. O'Brien Building

(360) 786-7944

Shavers, Clyde (D)

Vice Chair,

10th

311 John L. O'Brien Building

(360) 786-7884

Rude, Skyler (R)

Ranking Minority Member

16th

122G Legislative Building

 

(360) 786-7828

McEntire, Joel (R),

Assistant Ranking Minority Member

19th

409 John L. O'Brien Building

(360) 786-7870

Bergquist, Steve (D),

11th

438B Legislative Building

(360) 786-7862

Couture, Travis (R),

35th

404 John L. O'Brien Building

(360) 786-7902

Eslick, Carolyn (R)

39th

436 John L. O'Brien Building

(360) 786-7816

Harris, Paul (R),

17th

426A Legislative Building

(360) 786-7976

McClintock, Stephanie (R),

18th

466 John L. O'Brien Building

(360) 786-7850

Nance, Greg (D),

23rd

304 John L. O'Brien Building

(360) 786-7842

Ortiz-Self, Lillian (D),

21st

434B Legislative Building

(360) 786-7972

Pollet, Gerry (D),

46th

438A Legislative Building

(360) 786-7886

Steele, Mike (R),

12th

335A Legislative Building

(360) 786-7832

Stonier, Monica Jurado (D),

49th

436A Legislative Building

(360) 786-7872

Timmons, Joe (D)

42nd

419 John L. O'Brien Building

(360) 786-7854

Bill number: 2284

 

(When you enter the bill number, the description will pop up to provide the description of the law and will read: Using evidence-based instructional practices in reading and writing literacy for public elementary students.)

 

Subject:  Support of Comprehensive Literacy Plan

 

The following are example letters from parents, students, teachers, and tutors or people who work on literacy in private practice.  Please scroll down to find the area that is relevant to you and copy, paste, and tweak if you so desire. 

 

Parent suggested letters:

 

Example Message 1 (short but to the point): 

 

I am writing to support the new literacy bill.  I think that it is critical that our students be taught to read using techniques that have been shown to be effective. 

 

Example Message 2 (I have had to pay to get my student what they needed): 

 

I’m writing to request that you continue to work on the literacy bill.  My student has struggled to learn to read.  I have sought outside to help for my student by

(Select correct item from the list below or write your own:

sending them to a private school

hiring a tutor

learning to teach reading on my own by purchasing curriculum). 

Please continue to work on this law.

 

Example Message 3 (Why have we not done this yet?):

 

I am writing to request that you work on this comprehensive literacy plan.  Students are struggling to learn to read and it should not be this way.  My student hates reading and I love it.  I am so disappointed that they have not learned what they need to function in life and in higher education.  I’m also disappointed that they don’t have the joy of reading that I have.  I want my student to get the help they need to be successful in life.

 

Student suggested Letters:

 

Message 1 (I deserved to learn how to read as a high school student):

 

I want to write in support this bill.  I want to learn to read well and I have yet to be taught how to do that.  I want to go to college but I worry that I won’t be able to handle the reading load.  Please make sure the students that follow me will not face that same challenge.

Message 2 (I can’t read):

 

I hope that you will work on this comprehensive literacy bill.  I don’t have many options graduating from high school.  If I try to go to college, I fear I won’t pass my classes and will end up paying for classes that won’t get me a degree and will leave me in debt.  This should have been done a long time ago.  Please help.

 

Message 3 (I can read, but I watch my peers)

 

I hope that you will work on this literacy bill.  I am fortunate that I learned to read. 

I learned how to read without needing instruction.  I watch how my peers hate school and never open a book.  This is not fair to them.

 

Message 4 (I can read because my parents got me help)

 

I want you to work on this literacy bill.  I have struggled to learn to read and my parents had to get me help.  I should have just learned when I was in elementary school.  Everyone should know how to read.

 

 Teacher suggested letters:

 

Message 1 (I believe learning to read is important)

 

Hello!  I am teacher here in Washington state.  I aware of House Bill 2284 and am hoping you will make it a priority to work on this in the education committee.  Reading is such a fundamental skill that many students are currently lacking because they did not receive proper instruction in their formative years.  Better readers perform better in all content areas and have greater future prospects in the world of work.  Please help us get Washington students the reading instruction they need and deserve to produce a brighter future for them and our state.   Please add this house bill to the education committee agenda. 

 

 

Message 2 (Short but to the point)

 

Students need strong, data-driven reading instruction for success in academics and life.  Currently, House Bill 2284 has been moved to your committee for consideration.  Please give it your support.  Allow all students to receive instruction that will give them an equitable and skilled chance at a prosperous future.

 

Message 3 (Reading affects other academic areas)

 

Better readers are better at math, social studies, music, language arts, et al.  The fundamental skill of reading at grade level should not be just for some, but for all students, and all students deserve teachers trained in best practices for reading.  Support HB 2284 and give all of Washington’s students a chance that will prepare them for more than just the classroom. 

 

Message 4 (this is not perfect, but it is a start)

 

I have several significant concerns with this bill and how it will affect teachers.  However, we can’t work on making the bill better unless it gets out of committee.  Please make working on this bill a priority.  We can then hold an honest conversation about how to help all students become literate.  This will take a team effort but I believe that there is enough good in this bill to continue to work on it.

 

 Private practitioners/tutors suggested letters:

 

Message 1 (equity issue)

 

Please continue to work on this Structured Literacy bill.  Every day I work with students who need help to learn to read.  Parents who have the money can help their students.  This is not fair to students who do not have the same resources.  Let’s work to help all students learn to read.

 

 

Message 2 (Short but sweet)

 

Please help teachers learn to teach reading.  House Bill 2284 will help train teachers and will support all students.  Every child deserves to learn how to read.


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