As part of her education budget, Gov. Kathy Hochul set aside $10 million for teacher training to help educators ease into a new curriculum to teach literacy. 

At the same time, the Education Trust-NY is launching what it calls “The New York Campaign for Early Literacy” Tuesday at the state Capitol.

Capital Tonight received a preview of the campaign, which advocates say is necessary because the state ranks relatively low: 37th in 4th grade reading on the 2022 National Assessment of Education Progress. 

According to Jeff Smink, interim executive director for the Education Trust–New York, the scores are even lower among high-needs schools. In Rochester, for example, only 20% of the student body scored “proficient” on the 2022-23 New York state ELA assessment. 

“And that’s critical because we know that being able to read by the end of 3rd grade is foundational, both to student success and really the community’s success,” Smink said. 

The New York Campaign for Early Literacy is made up of nearly 80 organizations and individuals committed to improving reading outcomes for children in New York state, including educators, early childhood providers, parents, schools and librarians, among others. 

One of the bills the coalition is supporting was introduced by state Assemblyman Robert Carroll. A.2897/S.5480, known by advocates as the “Right to Read” bill, would establish policy changes that promote the use of evidence-based practices in schools throughout that state aligned with the science of reading.

It would also allow parents to access literacy rates at their children’s schools.

The Education Trust–NY’s announcement will take place on Tuesday at the Million Dollar Staircase at the state Capitol in Albany at 10:30 a.m.