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Hochul advances ‘Back to Basics’ reading initiative in New York

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  • Staff Report 

Governor Kathy Hochul announced the launch of the ‘Back to Basics’ legislation during her visit to the Albany School of Humanities, which aims to revolutionize reading instruction in New York State schools. Signed into law as part of the FY 2025 Budget, this initiative mandates evidence-based reading techniques across classrooms, focusing on improving students’ reading proficiency. Hochul’s visit underscored the state’s commitment to educational reform, emphasizing the importance of phonics and reading comprehension in early education.


The ‘Back to Basics’ plan is part of a broader $36 billion education budget that includes significant funding for school aid and teacher training. Governor Hochul announced a $10 million allocation to train 20,000 teachers in the science of reading, alongside expanding SUNY and CUNY’s microcredentialing programs, aiming to equip teachers with the necessary skills to enhance student learning outcomes effectively.

In support of this initiative, members of Governor Hochul’s administration will visit various elementary schools across the state to read to students, highlighting the initiative’s significance. The effort comes in response to the need for improved literacy rates among students, which is crucial for their academic success and future opportunities. This strategic focus on literacy is intended to set a foundation for lifelong learning and achievement among New York’s youth.