Sen Damoose Opposes Senate Panel Reports Bill to Eliminate 3rd Grade Reading Law Retention

Legislation that would remove retention provisions in the state’s third grade reading law took its first step with a Tuesday committee vote following testimony in which supporters called the retention language in statute being harmful to students while opponents questioned lowering standards.

The Senate Education Committee reported SB 12 by a 5-1 vote along party lines with one Republican member abstaining.

Under SB 12 , the retention provisions in the reading law would be removed. Additional language in the bill states that a student who receives a reading score that is one grade level or more behind as determined by the Department of Education based on their third grade ELA M-STEP must be provided a reading intervention program.

Sen. John Damoose (R-Harbor Springs) said he did not support removing the retention provisions. “[I] do not want to weaken standards especially in the wake of the pandemic and the state’s low rankings nationally in reading scores,” Damoose said.

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