WEAC, WSRA: Statement on Assembly Bill 321

Christina Brey

Statement on Signing of AB-321 Literacy Policy Changes
Politics over Policy
Outlawing Teaching Methods, Dictating One size-fits-all Policies, Prohibiting Science-Based Research & Study, Promoting Vendor Specific Criteria

The following joint statement was released by the Wisconsin State Reading Association and the Wisconsin Education Association Council following the signing of Assembly Bill 321 by Governor Tony Evers on July 19, 2023.

“We are disappointed and deeply concerned with the passage and signing of Assembly Bill 321,” stated Ryanne Deschane, WSRA President.  “Quick fixes don’t exist. The new law will mandate policies already being abandoned by other institutions and coming under greater scrutiny.  Further, the changes will restrict local control; restrict what and how elementary teachers and university faculty can teach; and, specifies one method and vendor in regard to professional development training.”

“Wisconsin educators are profoundly disappointed with provisions in this law. It was developed through backroom deals between politicians and bureaucrats instead of talking to licensed teachers who work with students every day,” said Peggy Wirtz-Olsen, WEAC President. “Wisconsin Public School educators devote our lives to teaching students to read and – just as importantly – to develop a lifelong joy for reading. To suggest otherwise is disrespectful toward our public school educators.”