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The NC Chamber Applauds Passage of the Excellent Public Schools Act of 2021

The NC Chamber applauds the passage of Senate Bill 387, known as the Excellent Public Schools Act of 2021, to improve childhood literacy across North Carolina by ensuring that pre-K and elementary public school educators are trained in the evidence-based reading instruction practice called the “Science of Reading.” The bill will create statewide standards of teaching aligned with the Science of Reading method, which is based on research revealing how the brain learns to read.

The NC Chamber is committed to championing legislation that will advance education continuity, address learning loss caused by COVID-19, and assess the individual academic needs of every student. Studies show that a child’s reading ability in third grade is pivotal to their academic and professional lives. In 2019, only 36 percent of our state’s fourth graders scored “proficient” in reading. The past year of remote learning has caused children who were already struggling in reading and writing to fall further behind in developing these fundamental skills. To raise reading rates and set our students up for successful futures, we must make changes to current literacy instruction and interventions. The NC Chamber supports the Science of Reading method because scientific research shows that this specific teaching approach for children is more effective than the reading instruction practices that are being implemented in our public schools.

Empowering North Carolinians through excellent education is essential to securing a skilled talent pipeline and achieving a competitive, diverse, and world-class workforce. The NC Chamber is conducting a Q&A series to unite our state’s education leaders with job creators as we advocate for students through their academic journeys and along their paths to rewarding careers. In our first Q&A of the series, North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt shares how the Science of Reading teaching method will prepare students with basic skills they need to truly be ready for life after K-12.

The NC Chamber appreciates the unified action by Governor Cooper, leaders in the General Assembly, and legislators from both parties to pass the Excellent Public Schools Act of 2021.