Literacy Proponents Celebrate Proposed Funding

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Advocates for Literacy, a coalition of over 60 organizations focused on increasing the federal commitment to improve literacy instruction through evidence-based practices, strongly supports the proposed $195 million for the Literacy Education for All, Results for the Nation (LEARN) program—referred to as comprehensive literacy development grants—in the House of Representatives’ Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS-Education) appropriations bill. Advocates for Literacy believes a strong federal commitment to literacy is imperative and is pleased that the House Committee on Appropriations has proposed an increase in funding for LEARN by $5 million over the FY 2019-enacted level.

LEARN supports states in a comprehensive, systemic approach to strengthen evidence-based literacy and early literacy instruction for children from early learning through high school and supports districts’ capacities to accelerate reading and writing achievement for all students. Additionally, LEARN helps states and districts support high-quality professional development for teachers, librarians, principals, specialized instructional support personnel, and other educators to improve literacy instruction for struggling readers and writers, including English-language learners and students with disabilities.

At a time when only 35 percent of fourth-grade students, 35 percent of eighth-grade students, and 37 percent of 12th-grade students performed at or above the proficient level on the reading assessment of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)—the Nation’s Report Card1—funding to support and improve literacy instruction is imperative. Advocates for Literacy is grateful to the House appropriators for recognizing the importance of high-quality reading and writing instruction to a quality education by proposing $195 million for LEARN in FY 2020, an increase of $5 million over the enacted FY 2019 level.

About Advocates for Literacy

Advocates for Literacy is a coalition of over 60 organizations that supports improved literacy instruction through comprehensive birth through grade 12 state-led literacy plans that target struggling and economically-disadvantaged students with low-performing English language arts assessment scores.

Members include:

Academic Language Therapy Association
ACT
Advocacy Institute
Alliance for Excellent Education
American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
American Federation of Teachers
American Occupational Therapy Association
Association for Career and Technical Education
Association on Higher Education and Disability
Association for Middle Level Education
CAST
Center for the Collaborative Classroom
Council of Administrators of Special Education
Council for Exceptional Children
Early Care and Education Consortium
Easterseals
EDGE Consulting
Education Northwest
Every Child Reading
First Five Years Fund
First Focus Campaign for Children
Grimes Reading Institute
Higher Education Consortium for Special Education
HighScope Educational Research Foundation
Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters
Institute for Educational Leadership
International Dyslexia Association
International Literacy Association
Institute for Educational Leadership
Keys to Literacy
Knowledge Alliance
Learning Ally
Learning Disabilities Association of America
Learning First Alliance
Literacy How, Inc.
National Adolescent Literacy Coalition
National Association of Elementary School Principals
National Association of ESEA State Program Administrators (formerly the National Title I Association)
National Association of School Psychologists
National Association of Secondary School Principals
National Association of State Boards of Education
National Association of State Directors of Special Education
National Black Child Development Institute
National Black Justice Coalition
National Center for Families Learning
National Center for Learning Disabilities
National Council of Teachers of English
National Down Syndrome Congress
National Down Syndrome Society
National Education Association
National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform
National Rural Education Association
National Urban Alliance for Effective Education
National Women’s Law Center
National Writing Project
Nemours Children’s Health System
Parents as Teachers
Reading Partners
Reading Recovery Council of North America
Scholastic Inc.
School Social Work Association of America
TASH
Teach Plus
TESOL International Association
The Arc
United Way Worldwide
WestEd
ZERO TO THREE

1Fourth- and eighth-grade reading scores come from the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and 12th-grade reading scores come from the 2015 NAEP.