Why It Matters

Together, we have influenced important legislation that will impact the lives of thousands of children.

And we’re just getting started.

Highlights from the 2023-24 Legislative Cycle


Universal Screenings for Reading Difficulties

What Is It?

In 2023, EdVoice (our sister organization) and Decoding Dyslexia CA co-sponsored SB 691, a bill authored by Senator Portantino and co-authored by 33 members of both parties in the Assembly and Senate. This proposed bill mandated that all K-2 public school students in California be screened annually for reading difficulties, including risk of dyslexia. Results from the screeners are required to be shared with parents/guardians and evidence-based literacy instruction, monitoring, and early intervention must be provided to those students identified as having reading challenges. 

Over 50 nonprofit organizations–including parent groups, justice reform organizations and literacy experts–signed on to support the legislation. Governor Newsom incorporated the key components of SB 691 into his 2023-24 state budget as part of the Education Omnibus Budget Trailer Bill (SB 141). Screenings must begin no later than the 2025-26 academic year and we–along with other key partners–will ensure its proper implementation.

Why Does It Matter?

Currently, tens of thousands of children who have risk of dyslexia or other reading challenges are not identified in the early grades, and thus have a much harder time learning to read. This has an extremely negative impact on their academic success and social-emotional well-being. With universal screenings, and mandated supports for children identified as having reading challenges, these children throughout California will have a much greater chance of achieving literacy at an early age. 

Learn more about our policies supporting early literacy through our sister organization, EdVoice.

Maintaining the Golden State Teacher Grant

What Is It?

At the start of the 2023 legislative cycle, the Governor and a member of the Legislature introduced bills that would remove the low-income school requirement from the Golden State Teacher Grant Program (GSTG), which offers up to $20,000 in grants to future educators who commit to teach in low-income schools. 

Upon learning about this proposed legislation, EdVoice (our sister organization) partnered with over 30 organizations–including the Los Angeles Unified School District and The Education Trust-West–to successfully oppose the changes and ensure that GSTG continued to focus solely on placing fully credentialed teachers in low-income schools.

Why Does It Matter?

Historically, students in high-need schools are taught by more substitute and under-qualified teachers than their economically advantaged peers. There is nothing more important to a student’s success in school than the placement of high-quality teachers every day in every classroom. It is critical that we have incentives to attract and retain qualified teachers in high-need schools. This is a major win for educational equity in low-income communities, as thousands of teachers have already signed up for GSTG in 2023. 

Learn more about our policies surrounding high-quality educators through our sister organization, EdVoice.

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