The Ohio House of Representatives yesterday passed Amended Substitute Senate Bill 21, legislation to revise the requirements for reading teachers under the Third-Grade Reading Guarantee.

The legislation gives districts more flexibility when determining staffing needs related to the reading guarantee. Specific provisions of the bill include:

• Allowing districts to submit and operate under alternative staffing plans for up to three full school years
• Expanding to three years the time during which existing alternative teacher credentials are permitted
• Recognizing the need to continue to have educators with specialized credentials available to serve students with special needs
• Requiring the Department of Education to collect and analyze data and report annually on the progress Ohio is making on all students in grades K-3 becoming proficient readers
• Requiring the State Board of Education to adopt reading competencies to establish standards for effective reading instruction
• Requiring the reading endorsement by July 1, 2016 and teacher licenses for grades PK-3 and 4-9 by July 1, 2017 to align to the adopted reading competencies

“Through the diligence of educators and legislators, S.B. 21 was amended to meet the needs of all concerned," Rep. Marlene Anielski (R-Independence) said. "Everyone wants the absolute best possible education for our children for them to succeed not only in school, but throughout their entire life.”

Am. Sub. S.B. 21 passed from the House with unanimous support. It will be sent back to the Ohio Senate for concurrence.

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