Barresi Budget Doesn’t Support Teachers, New Reading Initiatives

Funding to support reading sufficiency was cut by $1.4 million, despite recent legislation passed to ensure all kids can read on grade level by third grade. State Supt. Janet Barresi unveiled the 2011-2012 education budget today. 

All of the professional development programs that help teachers improve reading instruction were not funded, including the highly-effective Literacy First program.

Literacy First provides reading and literacy professional development for elementary teachers. Schools participating in Literacy First increased their average API scores by 89 points from 2009-2010 while the state increased their average by only 27 points. In 2009 the grant schools scored 57 points higher than the state average and 119 points higher in 2010.

Oklahoma Education Association President Linda Hampton said teachers are a primary factor in determining the success of a child in the classroom and programs that support teachers are more important than ever before.

“It doesn’t make sense to cut reading professional development for teachers, while demanding greater reading proficiency for their students. They are asking professionals to increase their performance while taking away the tools and resources they need to be successful in the classroom,” Hampton said.


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