Public Comments for: HB418 - Elementary and secondary education, public; at-risk add-on funds.
Last Name: Watkins Locality: Reston

To Whom It May Concern, Thank you for the opportunity to comment on HB 1034. As a public high school school teacher and parent of two young children (ages 5 and 2) in Virginia, I have serious concerns that this bill will wind up doing more harm than good for the children of our state. I have worked in two different public school systems in Virginia over 13 years, and I have seen first hand how beneficial counseling services can be to a wide variety of students. If parents are allowed to prohibit their students from accessing counseling services in the school, these students may be cut off from not only critical mental health support, but but also the academic, career, and community support that school counselors and mental health team members provide. All members of a school mental health team must undergo rigorous education before obtaining their licenses, and as such they should be trusted as the professionals they are to provide only services that they deem necessary for students well-being. I strongly urge you to let the trained mental health professionals do their jobs. Don't make students get tied in the mire of adult squibbles. Thank you, Sara Watkins Mother Teacher Concerned Virginia Citizen

Last Name: Watkins Locality: Reston

To Whom It May Concern, Thank you for the opportunity to comment on HB HB1032. As a public high school school teacher and parent of two young children (ages 5 and 2) in Virginia, I have serious concerns that this bill will wind up doing more harm than good for the children of our state. As VA Senator Peterson said on January 27 of this year, regarding a similar bill, "I don't think we should be involved in micromanaging school libraries...The problem is that you’re going to sweep up books that you don’t intend to sweep up" (Matthew Barakat, abcnews.go.com). I strongly urge you to leave the books in the libraries for the kids. They deserve to have the opportunity to decide with their own parents and personal support systems what books to read. Thank you, Sara Watkins Mother Teacher Concerned Virginia Citizen

Last Name: Turner Locality: Fairfax

I support HB1047, HB319, HB418, and HB419.

Last Name: Kane Organization: Decoding Dyslexia Virginia Locality: Loudoun

Please support HB319, HB 418, and HB 419. These bills will make great strides for Virginia's children and their literacy. We cannot afford to wait any longer. I hope as you consider these bills you will also champion the need for urgency . We risk the continued loss of years waiting for districts to begin implementation. Our children do not have the time to wait they need these bills implemented as quickly as possible. Thank you.

Last Name: VanDerhoff Locality: Springfield

I am writing to urge you to support HB 319, HB 418, and HB 419. I am a first grade teacher in Fairfax County Public Schools and for the past two years I have immersed myself in learning everything I can about the science of reading. Even though I have taught 1st and 2nd grade for ten years now, I am embarrassed to say that before learning about the science of reading, I didn't understand a lot about how children developed the skills to become proficient readers. I had been trained in teaching reading using the "balanced literacy" approach. In the early grades, students taught through a balanced literacy approach can appear to be fluent readers. They read formulaic "leveled texts" filled with memorized high-frequency words and peppered with other words that students are meant to guess based on the picture and maybe the first letter. Students move through these levels with just enough picture support to suggest that they are becoming proficienct readers, but then when they reach 3rd grade and beyond where they encounter more unfamiliar multisyllabic words and the picture support drops off, it becomes apparent that they never learned the skills to break down and read words using phonics. After learning about the science of reading, I now know that decoding skills (the ability to read the words on the page) are developed in a sequential and systematic way through explicit phonics instruction where students first learn basic phonics patterns and then move to more challenging ones as they develop mastery. I am grateful that my district, FCPS is adopting a new approach to literacy that aligns with the science of reading. I hope that by passing these three bills, we can move Virginia toward ensuring that every new teacher learns reading instructional practices that align to the science of reading, that we are using evidence-based interventions to address reading gaps and abandoning programs based in balanced literacy such as Reading Recovery, and that we are giving every early reading educator the training and tools they need so that they are equipped to unlock the potential in every child to become a proficient reader.

Last Name: Foltz Locality: Fairfax

HB 418 Please support this bill. Reading recovery must be removed as it does not sufficiently address the key deficits of young struggling readers – phonemic awareness and phonics. Names of literacy programs should not be named in VA code. At-risk add-on funds should not be used on any education that is known to be ineffective.All funding must be reserved for programs that are explicit, systematic, cumulative and based on the decades of research that we have showing us that the science of reading works best for all people learning to read, regardless of ability or background.

Last Name: Seyba Locality: Yorktown

Please vote for this! So, the funds can be redirected to a evidence based reading program. Thanks

Last Name: Hall Locality: Vienna

I wish to convey my support for house bill 318, 319, and 418. What makes Virginia strong is commitment to meeting the learning needs of all students through the various stages of language skill acquisition. In truth, there are many steps which could be undertaken to strengthen education throughout the Commonwealth. What these bills have in common is a focus on demonstrated approaches to further learning outcomes using what are really modest levels of resources. Please pass each of these measures out of committee! Respectfully Norm Hall Vienna VA

Last Name: Cooper-Gould Locality: Reston, VA

Please support HB418 - Reading Recovery is ineffective for teaching literacy to struggling readers. We can no longer waste money on programs that are not supported by the science of reading (SOR). All funding must be reserved for programs that are explicit, systematic, cumulative and based on the decades of research that we have showing us that the science of reading works best for all people learning to read, regardless of ability or background. Thank you!

Last Name: Moore-Rizek Locality: Haymarket

Reading Recovery is not an evidence-based reading program. Reading Recover actually creates bad habits. It teaches children to guess at words and to look at pictures. This method of reading only works with kindergarten books Can you picture the frustration of a child who actually needs accurate decoding skills to get to the next level to achieve basic literacy? Parents expect an effective reading program when their children are pulled out for extra services. Reading Recovery creates frustration for a student and to a teacher who has to re-teach skills. Your support of HB418 will save critical funds and divert those monies to effective reading programs. Thank you for your time and service.

Last Name: Dail Locality: Montgomery County, Blacksburg

I am providing comments in order to ask you to support HB418 and HB419. HB418 removes Reading Recovery from Virginia Code; please note that names of literacy programs should not be listed in Virginia code. Furthermore, Reading Recovery is inconsistent with Virginia code § 22.1-253.13:1 D.13 as it does not sufficiently address phonemic awareness and phonics which are both key deficits exhibited by young struggling readers. It is time for the Commonwealth to focus resources on evidence-based literacy instruction and remediation approaches that are rooted in science-based reading research. HB419 provides consistency and accountability for higher education institutes' teacher preparation programs. HB419 requires students in early childhood education, special education, and reading specialist courses of study to demonstrate mastery in science-based reading research and evidence-based literacy instruction. HB419 empowers future teachers with knowledge to instruct and support their students and recognize and assist struggling students. Virginia K-12 students will benefit from appropriately prepared teachers and the Commonwealth can begin to tackle the equity issues related to literacy and reduce the need for costly remediation when students are not taught to read using evidence-based literacy instruction rooted in science-based reading research. Thank you for your service to the Commonwealth and please support HB418 and HB419.

Last Name: Taylor Locality: Herndon, VA

Please support HB 319, 418 and 419. These bills will help Virginia's children learn to read and gain more proficiency in acquiring language arts skills. BUT also please consider shortening the time frame as we can no longer sit around and wait as we will be losing precious time waiting on the implementation. We need action NOW to give these children a better start in life with acquiring the reading skills that they deserve to be taught by a public education system! Thank you. Signed - Mom of a dyslexic son whose top notch public school could not provide the basic Science of Reading remediation desperately needed after not being diagnosed until mid 3rd grade.

Last Name: Keen Locality: Roanoke County

As the parent of a child with dyslexia, I would like to support these 3 bills. Our sons reading disability was missed by multitudes of educators and once identified the schools were ill-prepared to instruct him using a structured literacy program. The Commonwealth must have a data-driven literacy program. This ultimately benefits all students.

Last Name: Knuth Locality: Berkeley Heights

We lost our good friends and their beautiful family to a move they needed to make due to the need of sufficient education for their two boys with dyslexia.

Last Name: Butler Locality: Loudoun

My middle school daughter is dyslexic. It is because of the phonemic based literacy intervention she received in school that she is currently an A student. She has received support since second grade and lives school. She would be in a much different position without the early intervention she received. Please support these literacy bills.

Last Name: AlMahroos Locality: Arlington, VA

Literacy is a human right and in order to achieve true equity, every child in Virginia needs to be able to read at grade level. It is time for Virginia to provide literacy instruction based on the science of reading. Children learn best when they are taught to read explicitly by teaching phonics, phonemic awareness, and fluency. In addition, according to the simple view of reading, reading equals decoding ability as well as comprehension and as a result, literacy instruction should also focus on the acquisition of background knowledge. I would love to see a curriculum that actually enables students to acquire background knowledge implemented across Virginia schools. An example of such a curriculum would be Wit & Wisdom, ARC Core, and Core Knowledge Language Arts. Please stop funding Reading Recovery. It is not evidence based.

Last Name: Wentzel Locality: Leesburg va

Upport our students and families

Last Name: Hoffman Locality: Ashburn

Please evaluate our literacy programs and institute science based proven instruction. My 8 year old has an IEP and is being evaluated for a reading disability. There needs to be more options to help these struggling readers! Thank you

Last Name: Frese Locality: Leesburg

I lost a good friend because they had to sell their home and move to an area that had a private school for their dyslexic children

Last Name: Mansfield Organization: Decoding Dyslexia Virginia Locality: Loudoun

Good afternoon, Delegates of the House Education Committee! My name is Melinda Mansfield and I am writing to ask for your support of: HB319 - Delegate Carrie Coyner's Virginia Literacy Act that will ensure that Virginia's children will learn to read. HB319 https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GqECg9POKdBRySvAFtpYd13gyVQHoJfD/view SB616 - (after crossover) Senators Lucas and McClellan's Virginia Literacy Act that will ensure that Virginia's children will learn to read. SB616 Bill Support https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GqECg9POKdBRySvAFtpYd13gyVQHoJfD/view HB419 - Delegate Karrie Delaney's bill ensures Virginia's Institutes of Higher Education use science-based reading research and evidence-based literacy instruction in their curriculum and confirms compliance at least every 5 years with an audit. HB419 Bill Support https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-pK5JoqwjI039tDe9HcCsnYQlOYKVKWKbPyD5RQOgJ4/edit HB418 - Delegate Karrie Delaney's bill removing the product name 'Reading Recovery' from our Virginia educational code HB418 Bill Support https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-pK5JoqwjI039tDe9HcCsnYQlOYKVKWKbPyD5RQOgJ4/edit Virginia is in the midst of a literacy crisis and we must invest in our children's literacy by ensuring they receive a curriculum rooted in science-based reading research and evidence-based literacy instruction. Children deserve teachers and reading specialists who can hit the ground running and impart foundational literacy skills at the beginning of their academic journey. Teachers deserve adequate tools and preparation so they may teach children how to read, handwrite, write and spell “to make the difference that they want to make.” School districts deserve support and guidance in picking professional development, curriculum, intervention, computer and supplemental literacy programs so that they are not subject to slick marketing campaigns. The consequences of a slow start in reading become titanic in middle school and beyond because they exponentially accrue over time. Therefore, this must be done in elementary school before a child moves to middle and high school. Moreover, the middle and high school model is not adequately set up for real remediation. WE must move from a “remediation” model to a “preventative” model of literacy instruction. The investment in our children, teachers and school districts is way overdue. If you cannot read or write…you cannot do math, history, science, civics, computer programming, etc. Literacy is the foundation for all learning. Please co-patron these bills and encourage your colleagues to do the same. The chief patron's and their staff are ready to answer any questions you have about the bills. Although the challenge ahead of us is enormous, I am hopeful that future generations of Virginia's children will have an opportunity to learn to read write proficiently and grow to be productive members of our society. Literacy is a right!

Last Name: Lee Locality: Henrico

Literacy is a basic human right! Thank you for supporting our children!

Last Name: gregory Locality: henrico

I believe in literacy being a basic right of every human

Last Name: Gunther Locality: Chesterfield

I believe that every school should do their best to ensure every child has the best literacy instruction possible. This needs to be the primary focus in k-2 grades as research shows that students who are behind by 3rd grade will most likely never “catch up.” The emphasis on phonics and language acquisition is vital in order to teach all students to read!

Last Name: Dunn Locality: Haymarket, VA

I believe in literacy being a basic right of every human and we lost good friends because they had to sell their home and move to an area that had a private school for their dyslexic children.

Last Name: Krishnan Locality: Loudoun

I believe quality education is a basic right

Last Name: Viverito Locality: Henrico

Both of our children, now ages 8 and 10 have been diagnosed with dyslexia. Our 10-year-old is currently reading at a first grade level our eight-year-old cannot yet read at all. After spending more than $50,000 out of pocket, every ounce of energy we have and strong advocacy with their school in Loudoun County Virginia, they finally received services, after initially being declined. The services being provided are the bare minimum of what they need. My oldest is going into middle school next year and he is considered “at risk”. We uprooted our entire family and moved to the Richmond area so that he could attend a private school that costs $33,000 a year where he would finally receive the proven structured literacy program that works for all struggling readers not just dyslexic students. It should not be this way, not in 2022 . All students are entitled by law, to a free and appropriate education. I have teacher friends that have are part of a Facebook group called “things I should have learned in college” that was created by teachers and is for teachers. Why aren’t teachers being taught the science of reading? There is no excuse.

Last Name: Carmean Locality: Ashburn

Our children with learning disabilities deserve more!

Last Name: O’Toole Locality: Aldie

I am writing in support of bills HB318, HB418, and HB419. I am a parent of two elementary school kids in Loudoun county. We desperately need improves screening and literacy programs for our kids. My sons are in 4th and 2nd grade. They both were in virtual learning during the first year and half of the pandemic. My 2nd grader is in the process of getting an IEP. He has dyslexia and other specific learning disabilities. We need programs that teach all of our kids how to read and identify those with dyslexia and other learning disabilities sooner. My son is now over a year behind in reading and writing as his dyslexia was not discovered until this year. His confidence has taken a huge blow. The more I have educated myself about dyslexia and now learned that 15-20% of kids have dyslexia I was surprised to learn that we aren’t doing an adequate job providing proven multi sensory structured literacy for all our kids. The literacy scores for our students have continued to fall and a major revamp is needed. Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of these bills. All our kids deserve a fair and good education.

Last Name: Bean Locality: South Riding, Va

I am writing in support of these important bills (HB319, HB418, HB419) that will provide vital improvements to our education system. We need evidence-based curriculum and should be looking at what is best for all our students, not lining the pockets of curriculum companies.

Last Name: Duncan Organization: Decoding Dyslexia Virginia Locality: Fairfax County

HB319/SB616 We are in the midst of a literacy crisis in Virginia and we need to invest in our children's literacy by ensuring they receive a curriculum rooted in science-based reading research and evidence-based literacy instruction. They deserve teachers who can hit the ground running and impart foundational literacy skills at the beginning of their academic careers without the current wait-to-fail model that was in place for my own daughter who couldn't learn to read in Fairfax County Schools. This comprehensive literacy bill will pull multiple levers, simultaneously, to support all VA divisions as they transition their staff and curriculum to science-based reading research and evidence-based literacy instruction. HB319 & SB616 Talking Points for Support of the Bill https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GqECg9POKdBRySvAFtpYd13gyVQHoJfD/view HB319 & SB616 Support Flyer https://drive.google.com/file/d/1enxMHOdS3nRo4cU6gR7Lx5FLcJbrvZuR/view HB418 Reading Recovery is a product name and should not be a part of VA Education Code Talking Points for Support of HB418 https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-pK5JoqwjI039tDe9HcCsnYQlOYKVKWKbPyD5RQOgJ4/edit HB419 We are in the midst of a literacy crisis in Virginia and we need to invest in our children's literacy by ensuring they receive a curriculum rooted in science-based reading research and evidence-based literacy instruction. They deserve teachers who can hit the ground running and impart foundational literacy skills at the beginning of their academic careers without the current wait-to-fail model that was in place for my own daughter who couldn't learn to read. This bill ensures Virginia's Institutes of Higher Education use science-based reading research and evidence-based literacy instruction in their curriculum and confirms compliance at least every 5 years with an audit. Talking Points for Support of HB419 https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-pK5JoqwjI039tDe9HcCsnYQlOYKVKWKbPyD5RQOgJ4/edit

Last Name: Patwardhan Locality: Fairfax County

As an educator, I value evidence-based pedagogy. It seems that the Reading Recovery program is not supported by evidence, and to that end, it is proper to stop funding it.

Last Name: Martin Organization: Decoding Dyslexia Virginia Central Virginia Region Locality: Gordonsville, Orange County

Comments Document

Good afternoon, Delegates of the House Education Committee! My name is Melissa Martin and I am a member of Decoding Dyslexia Virginia, as well as a teacher. I am writing to ask for your support of: HB319 - Delegate Carrie Coyner's Virginia Literacy Act that will ensure that Virginia's children will learn to read. HB319 Bill Support SB616 - (after crossover) Senators Lucas and McClellan's Virginia Literacy Act that will ensure that Virginia's children will learn to read. SB616 Bill Support HB419 - Delegate Karrie Delaney's bill ensures Virginia's Institutes of Higher Education use science-based reading research and evidence-based literacy instruction in their curriculum and confirms compliance at least every 5 years with an audit. HB419 Bill Support HB418 - Delegate Karrie Delaney's bill removing the product name 'Reading Recovery' from our Virginia educational code HB418 Bill Support We are in the midst of a literacy crisis in Virginia and we need to invest in our children's literacy by ensuring they receive a curriculum rooted in science-based reading research and evidence-based literacy instruction. They deserve teachers who can hit the ground running and impart foundational literacy skills at the beginning of their academic careers without the current wait-to-fail model that was in place for my own daughter who couldn't learn to read. Please co-patron these bills and encourage your colleagues to do the same. The chief patron's and their staff are ready to answer any questions you have about the bills. Although the challenge ahead of us is enormous, I am hopeful that future generations of Virginia's children will have an opportunity to learn to read efficiently and grow to be productive members of our society. Reading is a right! Best regards, Melissa Martin Decoding Dyslexia Virginia 434-242-9496

End of Comments