FIRST REGULAR SESSION

HOUSE BILL NO. 250

91ST GENERAL ASSEMBLY


INTRODUCED BY REPRESENTATIVES REID AND LEVIN (Co-sponsors).

Read 1st time January 3, 2001 and 1000 copies ordered printed.

ANNE C. WALKER, Chief Clerk

0704L.01I


AN ACT

To amend chapter 170, RSMo, by adding thereto one new section relating to phonics instruction.




Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:

Section A. Chapter 170, RSMo, is amended by adding thereto one new section, to be known as section 170.014, to read as follows:

170.014. 1. This section shall be known as the "Reading Instruction Act" and is enacted to ensure that all public schools provide developmentally appropriate phonics instruction in grades kindergarten through three as a significant component of a program of balanced reading instruction and that all teachers who teach reading in grades kindergarten through three receive adequate training in the teaching of developmentally appropriate phonics.

2. As used in this section, the following terms mean:

(1) "Developmentally appropriate", instruction and interaction within the age and developmental level of the learner, as ascertained by the best current research;

(2) "Grammar", the rules and conventions of standard English, including the construction of sentences, the classification, derivation and properties of words, and spelling;

(3) "Phonics instruction", the teaching of sound-symbol correspondence and the rules and generalizations that govern these correspondences, including phonemics, which is the recognition of the boundaries of phonetic elements.

3. Developmentally appropriate phonics instruction shall be provided in every public school in the state in grades kindergarten through three as a significant component of a program of balanced reading instruction. Each school district shall make an effort to systematically inform parents of the methods and materials used to teach reading in grades kindergarten through three. Nothing in this act shall be construed to require that every child be taught phonics; however, developmentally appropriate phonics instruction shall be available in every elementary school building.

4. By July 1, 2004, the state board of education shall establish a teacher competency test or tests in grammar and in developmentally appropriate phonics instruction.

5. The state board of education shall provide in-service training programs for certified teachers on the use of developmentally appropriate phonics instruction in the teaching of reading in grades kindergarten through three.

6. On and after July 1, 2005, no teacher shall be certified to teach reading in the public schools of this state in grades kindergarten through three, either as a reading specialist or as a classroom teacher, unless the teacher has passed competency tests established or adopted by the state board on developmentally appropriate phonics instruction and on grammar. Such tests may be administered before the prospective teacher graduates from college.



Missouri House of Representatives