Alabama Senate OKs new Literacy Act delay; bill moves to House

By WVUA 23 News Reporter Mackenzie Wanicka

Alabama’s Literacy Act, which requires the state’s third-graders to pass a literacy test or be held back a year, will likely be delayed once again.

This week, the Alabama Senate passed a bill to delay the law through the 2023-24 school year. The law was slated to go into effect at the end of this school year.

That bill now goes to the Alabama House.

Tuscaloosa Public Library Interim Executive Director Jennifer Pearson said it is difficult to pinpoint where students are in terms of literacy at the moment.

“I think with COVID it’s kind of hard to really assess where the children are at this point,” Pearson said. “And what delays COVID and being out of school for an extended period of time may have caused.”

Pearson said the Tuscaloosa Public Library offers many resources for students who need help getting back on their grade level.

“Of course, we have our summer reading programs and obviously access to books and other materials,” Pearson said. “As a parent, one thing I have found valuable is having my children listen to a book on tape and read along with it or listen to it then read the book themselves.”

The new Senate bill does make some changes to the original law, which was signed in 2019. The new bill exempts students who are learning under an Individualized Education Program, and it restricts holding students back in third grade to one year instead of a potential two.

Categories: Alabama News, Local News