SACRAMENTO — In recognition of the important role books and literacy serve in our democracy, Governor Gavin Newsom today celebrated “Read Across America Day” by spotlighting 10 investments California is making to improve literacy. Since taking office in 2019, Governor Newsom has made historic investments to improve literacy, including over $9 billion in recent investments to support evidence-based policy changes and improve student literacy outcomes across the state — with a particular focus on equity and uplifting California’s most disenfranchised students.
“Instead of dabbling in the zealotry of whitewashing literature and banning books, California is making transformational investments to ensure our students can read,” said Governor Newsom. “I know from my own challenges with dyslexia that when we help children read, we help them succeed. That’s why California is making transformational investments to improve student literacy. While other states attack educators and undermine students, California is putting in the work to ensure our children thrive.”
Under Governor Newsom’s leadership, and in partnership with the Legislature, California is improving education outcomes and investing in literacy. California outperformed most states — including Florida and Texas — in mitigating learning loss during the pandemic, and through historic levels of school funding, the state is building a cohesive structure of support for educators and students that reflects a focus on equity, inclusion, and academic success. Since 2019, this has included significant resources and targeted policy changes to improve student literacy outcomes.
Here are 10 recent investments the Governor and Legislature have made to improve literacy achievement in California:
#1: $7.9 BILLION FOR LEARNING RECOVERY: California is closing learning gaps through the implementation, expansion, or enhancement of learning supports, such as expanded instructional time, tutoring and other one-on-one or small group learning supports, and learning recovery programs.
#2: $1.5 BILLION FOR HIGH-NEED TRAINING: California is training more classified, certificated, and administrative school staff in high-need topics, including literacy.
#3: $250 MILLION FOR COACHES AND SPECIALISTS: California is hiring literacy coaches and reading specialists across the state.
#4: $68.2 MILLION FOR DOLLY PARTON’S IMAGINATION LIBRARY: California is offering a free book mailed every month to every child under 5 to ensure book-rich households.
#5: $50 MILLION FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: California is investing in professional development for educators on learning acceleration in literacy, mathematics, and language development.
#6: $28 MILLION FOR EARLY LITERACY: California is empowering parents and caregivers to help our youngest learners get an early start to literacy through a partnership with First 5 California.
#7: $25.2 MILLION FOR UCSF DYSLEXIA CENTER: California is funding world-class dyslexia research and building best-in-class tools for screening and intervention through the UCSF Dyslexia Center.
#8: $15 MILLION FOR LITERACY CERTIFICATION: California is supporting 6,000 teachers to receive their supplementary state certification in reading and literacy.
#9: $10 MILLION FOR TRAINING IN LITERACY INTERVENTION: California is training educators in evidence-based literacy instruction, literacy interventions, and executive functioning skills.
#10: $7.5 MILLION TO FUND DYSLEXIA SCREENING AND EARLY INTERVENTION: California is piloting the UCSF dyslexia screener, piloting an early intervention program, and providing professional learning to educators to support the instructional needs of students with specific learning disabilities, including dyslexia.