You are here

2023 Act 20 Update

Tuesday, March 19, 2024


District Administrators,

I’m writing with an update on the department’s work implementing 2023 Act 20.

2024-2025 Recommended Early Literacy Curricula

The Wisconsin Joint Committee on Finance (JCF) approved Wisconsin’s final 2024-2025 list of recommended early literacy instructional materials, adopting the recommendation of the politically-appointed Early Literacy Curriculum Council (ELCC), rather than the DPI recommendations. Those include:

Bookworms Reading and Writing K-3 (Open Up Resources, 2022)

Core Knowledge Language Arts K-3 (CKLA, Amplify Education, 2022)

EL Education K-3 Language Arts (Open Up Resources, 2017)

Wit and Wisdom (Great Minds, 2020) with Geodes and PK-3 Reading Curriculum (Really Great Reading)

Districts can use any curriculum they choose provided it complies with the law and does not use three-cueing. For those schools and districts interested in using other early literacy instructional materials, DPI has published a tool developed in collaboration with state partners that will allow schools and districts to determine whether the materials they are using meet the early literacy instructional requirements defined in the statute.

Partial Reimbursement Grants for Early Literacy Curricula

DPI plans to open a grant application soon at Only the four titles listed above are eligible for reimbursement. The eligible grant period will begin March 11, 2024 and will cover any costs made after the period begins (including consumables). Grant awards may cover up to 50 percent of costs and will be prorated based on demand. The grant is opening late because of delays in the ELCC process to recommend materials to DPI.

Districts may not receive reimbursements until 2026 to account for the crossing of school and fiscal years. Again, the amounts reimbursed will be pro-rated based on the total eligible requests, so we cannot guarantee any specific amount of funding.

Eligible Providers of Required Reading Training and Reading Readiness Screening

With DPI and stakeholder advocacy, two critical changes are being made to Act 20. These are both pending approval from Governor Evers, which we expect him to sign into law soon. The first allows any reading training provided by CESAs 6, 8, or 9 between May 2021, and July 1, 2024, to meet the law's training requirement. Moving forward, K-3 educators must begin an approved reading training that appears on the Center for Effective Reading Instruction’s list of accredited teacher trainings by July 1, 2025. Act 20 requires that administrators responsible for supporting early literacy instruction participate in a reading training that meets specific criteria (which can be provided or facilitated by any CESA).

The second change delays the required administration of the reading readiness screener during the 2024-2025 school year. For the upcoming school year, the screener will not be required until mid-year (second semester) and requirements connected to the screener - including the diagnostic reading assessment and the personal reading plan - would not be required until after the mid-year screening of 5K through grade 3 learners. Note that we are still waiting for the Governor to sign this amendment.

Thank you for your continued work and diligence in helping kids learn to read. Please feel free to reach out with any questions about Act 20 to and to your local CESA for additional support.

Tom McCarthy
Associate Deputy State Superintendent