As reported in an August Legal Ledger blog post, Ohio’s 2024-25 fiscal year budget bill included changes to district obligations to students in reading instruction. 

The budget bill enacted Ohio Revised Code (RC) 3313.6028 which requires districts to use the science of reading for literacy instruction. “Science of reading” is defined in the law as an interdisciplinary body of scientific evidence that: 

  • Informs how students learn to read and write proficiently. 

  • Explains why some students have difficulty with reading and writing. 

  • Indicates that all students benefit from explicit and systematic instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, comprehension, and writing to become effective readers. 

  • Does not rely on any model of teaching based on meaning, structure and syntax, and visual cues, including a three-cueing approach.  

RC 3313.6028 requires the Department of Education and Workforce (DEW) to establish two lists of resources that are aligned with the science of reading and strategies for effective literacy instruction: 

  • High-quality core curriculum and instructional materials in English language arts. 

  • Evidence-based reading intervention programs. 

Starting no later than the 2024-25 school year, school districts must use the curriculum, instructional materials, and intervention programs from these lists. The law also requires all teaching staff to receive professional development in the areas of the science of reading and reading intervention.  

Within the last few weeks, DEW has posted a range of resources on the science of reading, including:  

Posted by Jennifer A. Hardin on 1/12/2024