Skip to main content
Delaware Senate Democrats

Reading instruction bill unanimously passes the Senate

April 7, 2022

DOVER — Senate Bill 4, which supports the “science of reading,” unanimously passed the Senate today after all legislators were added to the bill as cosponsors.

The science of reading refers to evidence-based reading instruction that focuses on understanding the cognitive learning processes that are essential for reading proficiency. Implementing this type of curricula is a recommended best practice for helping students in kindergarten through third grade who are learning to read.
This legislation is championed by Sen. Laura Sturgeon, D-Brandywine Hundred, career educator and Chair of the Senate Education Committee. “We know from the 2019 Delaware Literacy Plan that only about half of Delaware students are reading at grade level,” said Sen. Sturgeon, a former teacher in the Brandywine and New Castle County Vo-tech school districts. “This legislation in conjunction with legislation I introduced and passed last year around teacher preparation programs will put us on a path to ensuring every teacher in the state has the necessary training and materials to effectively teach reading to all students.”

Senate Bill 4 requires the Delaware Department of Education to maintain and publish a list of evidence-based, reading instruction curricula. The bill also requires that by the beginning of the 2027-2028 school year, school districts and charter schools serving students in grades K-3 do all of the following:

  • Adopt a reading instruction curriculum from the Department list.
  • Demonstrate that all educators who teach reading participate in high-quality professional learning about evidence-based reading instruction.
  • Identify a school-based supervisory position responsible for assisting with the implementation of the adopted curriculum.

In addition, SB4 requires that school districts and charter schools provide an annual report to the Department regarding the implementation of these requirements and the Department must produce an annual report summarizing this information.

SB4 now advances to the House Education Committee.