DETROIT, Mich., March 17, 2021 — State Rep. Shri Thanedar (D-Detroit) and state Sen. Adam Hollier (D-Detroit) joined students, teachers, administrators and parents at Pershing High School on Monday to defend the right to read and call on lawmakers to approve $94.4 million to boost literacy efforts for Detroit children.


“Our kids, regardless of where they live and go to school, deserve every opportunity to receive a good education putting them on the pathway to happiness and success,” said Thanedar. “Literacy is a fundamental right and we must do all we can to fix the systemic educational inequalities that for too long have hurt our young learners in Detroit.”


Thanedar and Hollier have introduced bills in the House and Senate, respectively, that would appropriate $94.4 million to fund literacy-related initiatives for Detroit Public Schools Community District.


“Detroit’s students have too often been overlooked and undervalued when it comes to equitable access to education and literacy resources,” Hollier said. “It is our duty as elected officials to fix the systemic inequities that the Detroit Public Schools Community District and other predominantly minority school districts face throughout our state. We must continue to ensure our students, teachers, support staff, and administrators have the programming and support in place to get our young children reading so they can improve educational outcomes.”


As part of last year’s settlement in the Detroit right-to-read lawsuit, Governor Whitmer has asked the Legislature to approve $94.4 million to support literacy programs at Detroit schools. The settlement also requires the Michigan Department of Education to provide guidance to districts on literacy and establishes two Detroit-based task forces outside of state government to advise the governor on literacy and education in the city.


“This legislation will help students achieve their literacy goals, tackle structural educational inequities, and create better outcomes for families,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “I am grateful to Representative Thanedar and Senator Hollier for their dedication to the people of Detroit and for this bold step to accomplish our shared education goals. Together, we can get this done and deliver for our kids and communities.”


House Bill 4480 has been referred to the House Committee on Appropriations. Senate Bill 148 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Appropriations.


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