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Attention Parents and Teachers: California’s Literacy Crisis

California faces a literacy crisis, with nearly 70% of 3rd-grade students from low-income communities not meeting state standards for English language arts. This disproportionately affects Black and Latino children, English learners, and students with disabilities.

By 3rd grade, students transition from learning to read to reading to learn. Those who fall behind at this stage rarely catch up, leading to a high adult illiteracy rate in California. Adults with limited literacy are more likely to be unemployed, disenfranchised, and suffer from poor health.

We need to address this crisis by ensuring that all students receive effective early literacy instruction. This is a civil right for all California students and the key to unlocking future opportunities.