Senate Bill 21 seeks to change provisions relating to the Third Grade Reading Guarantee (TGRG) passed last year. A key component of this bill has been overlooked, but was highlighted yesterday by Senator Peggy Lehner as she introduced it to the House Education Committee.
According to Lehner in her testimony, the original legislation was never intended to affect teachers in grades K-2, and it was misinterpreted by the Ohio Department of Education after its passage (this is debatable as the original language could be claimed to be faulty and/or ambiguous). Lehner’s SB21 (passed 30-1 by Ohio Senate) corrects the confusing component by deleting that language. From a document provided by Lehner, it is clear that the TGRG will only impact 3rd grade teachers if adopted as written by the House.
The language in question in HB555 was ambiguous because it did not specify a grade level for the 2014 school year and beyond, allowing for the interpretation of the requirements to be applied to teachers of all students on intervention plans in grades K-3, not just grade 3. In Senate Bill 21 (shown below), see how that section has been deleted to clarify that the TGRG was only intended impact the credentials of third grade teachers.
As we’ve been saying, teachers in grades K-3 should not react to these changes in such a panicked fashion and start doling out money for an unnecessary Reading Endorsement or Master’s degree. Sit back and wait to see where this legislation ends up before making any future plans.