Ark. Code § 6-17-429

Current through the 2019 Legislative Session, Acts 1 through 1092
Section 6-17-429 - Right to read act
(a) This section shall be known and may be cited as the "Right to Read Act".
(b)
(1)
(A) No later than 2023, the following shall have proficient knowledge and skills to teach reading consistent with the best practices of scientific reading instruction:
(i) A person who completes a state-approved educator preparation program; and
(ii) A person seeking teacher licensure by reciprocity or by adding an endorsement.
(B) No later than 2023, a person who completes a state-approved educator preparation program other than a teacher of elementary education program shall demonstrate an awareness of the best practices of scientific reading instruction.
(2) Beginning no later than the 2022-2023 school year, each state-approved educator preparation program shall post on its website information describing its program to prepare teachers to teach reading using scientific reading instruction aligned with but not limited to the content measured by the stand-alone reading assessment adopted by the State Board of Education under § 6-17-402.
(c)
(1) Beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, a public school district and an open-enrollment public charter school shall provide the following professional development in scientific reading instruction:
(A) For teachers licensed at the elementary level in kindergarten through grade six (K-6), teachers with a special education license in kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12), and teachers licensed as reading specialists in kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12), professional development for one (1) of the prescribed pathways to obtaining a proficiency credential in knowledge and practices in scientific reading instruction; and
(B) For teachers licensed at a level other than the elementary level in kindergarten through grade six (K-6), teachers with a special education license in kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12), and teachers licensed as reading specialists in kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12), professional development for one (1) of the prescribed pathways to obtaining an awareness credential in knowledge and practices in scientific reading instruction.
(2) Beginning with the 2020-2021 school year, a public school or open-enrollment public charter school that does not provide the professional development under subdivision (c)(1) of this section shall:
(A) Be placed in probationary status; and
(B) Provide notice to parents that the public school district has not met the requirements of this section.
(d)
(1) By the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year:
(A) All teachers employed in a teaching position that requires an elementary education (K-6) license or special education (K-12) license shall demonstrate proficiency in knowledge and practices of scientific reading instruction; and
(B) All other teachers shall demonstrate awareness in knowledge and practices of scientific reading instruction.
(2) All teachers who begin employment in the 2021-2022 school year and each school year thereafter shall demonstrate proficiency or awareness in knowledge and practices in scientific reading instruction as is applicable to their teaching position by completing the prescribed proficiency or awareness in knowledge and practices of the scientific reading instruction credential either:
(A) As a condition of licensure; or
(B) Within one (1) year if the teacher is:
(i) Already licensed; or
(ii) Employed under a waiver from licensure.
(e) A provider of a state-approved educator preparation program, graduate program, or alternative preparation program shall include in its annual report to the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education a description of the provider's program to prepare educators to teach reading using scientific reading instruction.
(f) By the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year, the department shall identify and create an approved list of materials, resources, and curriculum programs for public school districts and open-enrollment public charter schools that are supported by the science of reading and based on instruction that is explicit, systematic, cumulative, and diagnostic, including without limitation:
(1) Dyslexia programs that are evidence-based and:
(A) Aligned to structured literacy; or
(B) Grounded in the Orton-Gillingham methodology;
(2) Evidence-based reading intervention programs; and
(3) Evidence-based reading programs that are grounded in the science of reading.
(g)
(1) By the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year, any public school district and open-enrollment public charter school purchasing a curriculum program shall choose a curriculum program from the department's approved list of curriculum programs created under subsection (f) of this section.
(2) A public school district or open-enrollment public charter school that chooses to purchase a curriculum program that is not from the department's approved list of curriculum programs shall submit the following to the department for approval of the alternative curriculum program:
(A) A rationale for choosing the alternative curriculum program; and
(B) Evidence-based research regarding the alternative curriculum program.
(h) By the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year, a public school district and an open-enrollment public charter school shall establish a professional development program as required by § 6-15-2914(b)(1)(B) that shall:
(1) Include without limitation instruction based on the science of reading; and
(2) Be provided on an annual basis after the professional development required under subdivision (c)(1) of this section is complete.
(i)
(1)
(A) A public school district or an open-enrollment public charter school that employs an educator in violation of this section or that does not provide the professional development as required under this section shall be in violation of the Standards for Accreditation of Arkansas Public Schools and School Districts and may be placed in probationary status by the department.
(B) A public school district or an open-enrollment public charter school placed in probationary status under subdivision (i)(1)(A) of this section shall send written notification to the parents of the students in the public school district of the reason for being placed in probationary status.
(2) A provider of a state-approved educator preparation program, graduate program, or alternative preparation program that does not comply with the requirements of this section may be subject to penalties up to and including having the provider's approval status revoked.
(j) The division shall :
(1) Enforce this section; and
(2) Promulgate rules to implement this section.
(k) As used in this section:
(1) "Science of reading" means the study of the relationship between cognitive science and educational outcomes; and
(2) "Structured literacy" means an approach by which licensed personnel teach reading in an explicit, systematic, cumulative, and diagnostic manner.

Ark. Code § 6-17-429

Amended by Act 2019, No. 83,§ 4, eff. 7/24/2019.

Amended by Act 2019, No. 83,§ 3, eff. 7/24/2019.

Amended by Act 2019, No. 910,§ 1433, eff. 7/1/2019.

Amended by Act 2019, No. 910,§ 1432, eff. 7/1/2019.

Added by Act 2017, No. 1063,§ 1, eff. 8/1/2017.