Teach Plus Applauds the Illinois General Assembly for Passing the Literacy and Justice for All Act

Teach Plus Applauds the Illinois General Assembly for Passing the Literacy and Justice for All Act

May 16, Springfield, Illinois—Teach Plus today issued the following statement in response to the passage of the Literacy and Justice for All Act, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford and Representative Rita Mayfield.

“Teach Plus and Teach Plus teacher leaders commends Leader Lightford and Representative Mayfield for sponsoring this important legislation with the support of 36 co-sponsors and the Illinois Early Literacy Coalition, which includes Teach Plus Illinois. The bill before the committee includes all of the provisions Teach Plus tTeacher lLeaders called for in their advocacy, including a stronger licensure test for future teachers that incorporates foundational literacy skills and a state literacy plan focused on teaching a comprehensive range of literacy elements. SB2243 also tasks the State Board of Education with creating teacher training programs, educator microcredentials, and curriculum rubrics to strengthen reading instruction.

“We have a responsibility to place our students on a pathway to success in literacy, and ultimately in life,” said Kim Tate, Teach Plus Senior Policy Fellow and 5th grade dual language teacher at International Prep Academy in Champaign. “This comprehensive legislation will secure our children’s future by providing the resources needed to deliver high- quality, evidence-based instruction that fosters competent and confident readers.”

“Literacy is a civil right, and all teachers should be armed with the knowledge and resources to support their students,” said Teach Plus Policy Fellow Brittany Nelson, a 4th grade teacher at Yankee Ridge Elementary School in Urbana. “Illinois legislators have provided a framework for bringing effective literacy instruction to all students, and now schools need to use these new resources to adopt evidence-based curriculum and support current teachers with professional development.”

“This legislation is a powerful first step, but I also know the work isn’t done. Now it’s up to schools to adopt new evidence-based curricula and training,” said Marielena Gozur, Teach Plus Illinois Policy Fellow and 2023 East Central Regional Teacher of the Year. “When we make these changes at the classroom level, students will find joy in reading as I know they can.”

Contact: Bill Curtin, Teach Plus IL Policy Manager, bcurtin@teachplus.org, 708.337.1932