SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will be required to create a statewide literacy plan by early 2024 under a newly-effective law sponsored by state Rep. Rita Mayfield, D-Waukegan.
“Education is the cornerstone of the economy and every other initiative important to our communities—and literacy, in turn, is the cornerstone of education,” Mayfield said. “That’s why it’s such a problem that we’re seeing so many Illinois students who are falling behind or not reading at grade level. It was clear that something had to be done, and this is the foundation of that ‘something’.”
Mayfield sponsored Senate Bill 2243 which requires ISBE to consult with stakeholders and then create a statewide literacy plan by no later than January 31, 2024. The plan is required to cover core instructional practices, screening tools to identify those having difficulties, guidance tailored for literacy interventions for K-2 and 3-12 students, the impact of second language acquisition and bilingual education, development of curriculum and coaching practices, and training opportunities for educators, among other factors.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker recently signed the bill into law, and it took effect immediately.
“Every child both needs and deserves access to an effective, high-quality literacy education,” Mayfield said. “Where, for whatever reason, that isn’t happening, it’s important that educators, administrators, families and public officials be on the same page so that the problem can be identified and addressed—and that level of coordinated response starts with having a plan.”