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New Senate Bill seeks to amend the Alabama Literacy Act

People and books during the pandemic
People and books during the pandemic
Updated: Feb. 5, 2021 at 10:13 PM CST
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RUSSELLVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - A new Senate Bill seeks to amend the Alabama Literacy Act that was passed in 2019.

You may remember, the Alabama Literacy Act requires some students not reading at grade level by the end of their third-grade year to be held back.

The Alabama Literacy Act’s reading retention requirement is currently set to go into effect next school year. Students must read at grade level before moving onto grade 4, with some exceptions, starting in the 2021-2022 school year.

But, Senate Bill 94 would push that back to the 2024-2025 school year.

“I think it benefits third graders all across Alabama. I think it benefits educators,” said Russellville City Superintendent, Heath Grimes.

Grimes said while the Alabama Literacy Act does benefit students for the most part...

“There is definitely some question about the effectiveness of retention and should students be retained,” said Grimes.

Grimes said the pandemic has caused a “learning loss.” He believes Senate Bill 94 could take some stress of teachers and students, specifically for English Language Learners.

Russellville has the the highest rate of ELL students in Alabama at 26 percent.

“I just think it gives us an opportunity to get students at a higher level before we look at retaining so many students. So I think with our numbers of ELL students the reprieve may be more beneficial to a district like ours,” said Grimes.

Senate Bill 94 has been referred to the Senate Education Committee.

We’ll keep you updated on its progress.

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