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Indiana legislative leaders to prioritize reading proficiency, school attendance

Indiana legislative leader prioritize reading, school attendance

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Legislative leaders said Monday that Hoosiers should expect more work on reading proficiency in schools during their next session.

Those comments came during the Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s annual legislative preview panel.

Indiana’s top state lawmakers say they expect a quieter session this year. They don’t need to work on a budget this time. But, they say, they will focus on reading and in-school attendance.

Senate President Pro Tem Rod Bray, a Republican from Martinsville, said, “Another challenge that we’ve seen grow over these last several years, and particularly since COVID, is the issue of truancy in education. We’ve got to try and figure that out because those numbers are getting bigger and bigger to the point of 25% of kids looked at as chronically truant, which is horrific, and not difficult at all to make the connection between that and poor performance in school.”

Senate Minority Leader Greg Taylor, a Democrat from Indianapolis, said, “I’m happy that we’re going to be focusing on the science of reading. We do need to understand that our children are falling further and further behind the rest of the country when it comes to proficiency in reading. The chronic absenteeism that we have in the state of Indiana is something that should be concerning to all of us, especially in the business community.”

Tuesday will be Organization Day for state lawmakers, and the legislative session will begin Jan. 8.