Thirty-four percent of Wisconsin fourth graders cannot read at a basic level. Let that sink in. It gets worse. It gets worse. Sixty four percent – nearly two-thirds – of our Wisconsin fourth graders cannot read at their grade level.

Over the last three decades, Wisconsin has been on a steady decline in reading achievement. In 1992 Wisconsin ranked 7th in the nation, today, we’ve fallen to 27th.

Though Wisconsin is sliding, states nationwide have made huge gains by adopting proven, research-based reading methods. I authored a bill to bring some of that success to our state. The Roadmap to Reading Success adopts undisputed best practices for identifying struggling readers sooner and getting them the help they need before they fall behind.

Despite the desperate need, and despite the bill earning bipartisan support, the Governor decided to veto this bill. He didn’t listen to the voices of the parents or struggling readers. He listened to education establishment in Madison.

Literacy in Wisconsin is at a crisis point and thanks to the Governor’s veto we do not have a plan and our students will not get the help they need.

This issue is only going to get worse if the Democrats in power do not take action and join their colleagues in supporting our bipartisan solution. Republicans have the Roadmap to Reading Success and we have made it a priority to help our children read.

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