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Brenner Bill to Improve Literacy Instruction for Ohio's Children

February 2, 2023
Andrew O. Brenner News

COLUMBUS—State Senator Andrew Brenner (R-Delaware) intends to introduce legislation to boost phonics-based literacy instruction in Ohio's schools. The bill will also seek to provide continuing education on phonics for teachers. Phonics stresses the sound of letters as a tool to teach reading and spelling. Gov. DeWine's State of the State Address this week also called for increasing the use of phonics to teach reading.

"When 40 percent of all third grade students in Ohio are not proficient in reading, it's time to get back to basics," said Brenner. "Research shows the great value of phonics in teaching kids how to read. It is a time-tested method with a proven record of success."

Brenner's bill will support DeWine's effort to make the teaching of phonics part of the curriculum in all of Ohio's public, STEM, and charter schools, by providing the necessary funding. Brenner said he fully agrees with DeWine that the earlier a child is reading at the appropriate grade level, the better that child will do in later grades and in life.

According to literacy experts, an inability to understand speech and sound patterns in written language is one of the most common reasons children struggle to read. Phonics is based upon the idea that understanding the sounds made by letters is a skill that is necessary to decode words.