LANSING — A bill that would mandate retention without parental consent of third graders who have trouble reading passed the Michigan House of Representatives, with State Representative Bill LaVoy (D-Monroe) voting no because the legislation would be harmful to children, and take away local control without providing enough resources to local districts.
“This is yet another governmental education mandate. I was advocating for parental participation and agreement in the process,” LaVoy Said.
The Michigan House of Representatives voted 57-48 to send the third-grade reading legislation to the senate. The House version includes the controversial mandate that children struggling with reading be held back in third grade, despite research showing harmful psychological impacts of retention.
“While it is about the children, parents need to be involved in the process. Their awareness and approval would be necessary for me to support this legislation,” said LaVoy. “Setting standards for our schools, our teachers and our children is the right thing to do, but those standards should be decided locally without mandates from Lansing. We need to get state government out of the classroom, and allow decisions to be made where they belong, with the parents and the local schools.”
Local school districts would incur costs under the legislation, which fails to provide enough financial support for implementation.