HB 2520: schools; reading requirements

PRIME SPONSOR: Representative Coleman, LD 16

BILL STATUS: Chaptered


ADE – Arizona Department of Education
ELP – Early Literacy Program
LEA – Local Education Agency
MOWR – Move on When Reading
SBE – Arizona State Board of Education
Amendments – BOLD and Stricken (Committee)


☐ Prop 105 (45 votes)	     ☐ Prop 108 (40 votes)      ☐ Emergency (40 votes)	☐ Fiscal NoteRelating to early literacy programs and interventions.


1.       Requires LEAs to use K-3 Reading Support Level Weight monies for instructional purposes based on the K-3 Literacy Plan the LEA submitted to ADE. (Sec. 1)

2.       Directs ADE's best practice examples of reading intervention and remedial reading strategies to be selected from LEAs that:

a.       Demonstrate improvement on 3rd-grade reading proficiency; and

b.       Represent LEAs in demographic composition. (Sec. 2)

3.       Instructs ADE to award ELP funds on a per-pupil basis using K-3 student count, rather than by grants. (Sec. 3)

4.       Requires LEAs that receive ELP monies to submit data on expenditures, results and information required for ADE's annual report on the K-3 Reading Program Plan. (Sec. 3)

5.       Replaces the requirement that ELP monies supplement and not supplant activities with the requirement that they be used to expand, enhance and support the components of a school's K-3 Literacy Plan. (Sec. 3)

6.       Requires diagnostic information to be used for planning evidence-based instruction. (Sec. 6)

7.       Instructs SBE to adopt rules that require applicants for elementary teaching certificates to complete a minimum of 45 classroom hours, or 3 college-level credit hours, in both research-based systemic phonics instruction and reading instruction. (Sec. 7)

8.       Modifies the definitions of eligible expenses, essential components of reading instruction and reading. (Sec. 3, 6)

9.       Defines student count. (Sec. 3)

10.   Makes technical and conforming changes. (Sec. 1-6)

Current Law

ADE administers a K-3 reading program to improve reading proficiency. ADE is required to prioritize supports and interventions for LEAs that have the highest percentage of students failing to demonstrate sufficient reading skills.

LEAs are required to submit a K-3 Literacy Plan to improve reading proficiency of their students. The plan must include baseline data on reading proficiency, a budget for monies from the K-3 Support Level Weight and the K-3 Reading Support Level Weight. LEAs are also required to submit an updated plan, with data on expenditures and results, to ADE. LEAs assigned an A or B letter grade may submit updated plans every two years. LEAs assigned C, D or F letter grades, or LEAs with more than 10% of their 3rd-grade students failing to demonstrate proficient reading skills, must have their plans reviewed by ADE and approved by SBE before they are eligible for the K-3 Reading Support Level Weight (A.R.S. § 15-211).

The MOWR retention requirements prohibit a 3rd grade student from being promoted if the student scores far below the 3rd-grade reading level on the statewide assessment, with exceptions (A.R.S. § 15-701). Schools that provide instruction in grades K-3 are required to:

1.       Adopt an evidence-based curriculum;

2.       Provide ongoing professional development on reading research to teachers;

3.       Administer reading assessments, screenings and ongoing diagnostics;

4.       Monitor student progress; and

5.       Plan appropriate instruction and intervention for each student (A.R.S. § 15-704).

In addition to the K-3 Reading Program and Support Level Weight, ADE also administers the Early Literacy Grant Program Fund. Grants are awarded in 3-year cycles on a per-pupil basis to LEAs with 90% free and reduced-price lunch eligibility rates (A.R.S. § 15-249.09).

Additional Information

The 2017 MOWR Annual Report can be found here.




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Fifty-third Legislature                  HB 2520

Second Regular Session                               Version 5: Chaptered


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