In November 2021, Gov. Tony Evers of Wisconsin vetoed a state Senate bill that would have tripled the number of literacy tests administered to students in kindergarten through second grade. The vetoed bill also contained provisions mandating that educators create personal reading plans for students identified by the tests as at-risk.
Sponsors of the bill argued it would address the subpar reading scores of students in the state. Evers vetoed the bill on various grounds, including lack of funding to implement the program and insufficient evidence that more testing boosts reading proficiency.
In his 2023-25 state budget, Evers proposed a $2.6 billion funding increase for K-12 schools — up 15% from last state budget. Some of the funding would go towards initiatives to improve literacy, including $10 million each year to train early-childhood literacy coaches. However, Republicans who run the Legislature have already signaled they plan to trim Evers’ spending proposal.
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