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The Raatz Roundup: Helping teachers ensure students can read

Helping teachers ensure students can read

By State Sen. Jeff Raatz (R-Richmond)

In 2023, 1 in 5 students were missing foundational reading skills according to Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) data. Tackling this problem was the Indiana Senate's top legislative priority for 2024, reflected in the passage of Senate Enrolled Act 1 – a comprehensive bill to better identify students struggling to read, give them extra remediation, and support our educators in teaching literacy.

Based on talks with educators from inside and outside Indiana, there is a clear "gold standard" for teaching children to read: a model called the Science of Reading. Last year, I sponsored House Enrolled Act 1558, which established the Science of Reading as the new standard for instructional curriculum in Indiana schools and teacher preparation programs.

Building on that work, SEA 1 requires teachers who currently teach reading in pre-K through fifth grade to get a Science of Reading endorsement by the time they renew their license after July 1, 2027. The literacy endorsement involves around 80 hours of training. Those required to get the endorsement can access free training through Keys to Literacy and receive an extra $1,200 bonus if this course is completed by June 2025.

There are several other eligible training programs as well.

This endorsement can also fulfill teachers' annual 90-hour professional development requirement, saving them time and money. Starting in June of this year, the training can be completed asynchronously, giving teachers even more flexibility.

Teachers who have already received training in Science of Reading, should contact to see if it can count toward the endorsement requirements.

The ability to read is foundational to a student's success both inside and outside the classroom, which is why it is so important for us as legislators to do everything we can to set them up for success now.

Teachers are vital partners in that endeavor, and by giving them the tools to integrate evidence-based literacy curriculum into their classrooms sooner rather than later, we have a much better chance at resolving this literacy crisis before it is too late.

If you have any questions or concerns on these or other topics, feel free to submit a contact form on my website at or call my office at 317-233-0930.


State Sen. Jeff Raatz (R-Richmond) represents Senate District 27, which includes
Henry, Union and Wayne counties, and portions of Franklin County.
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