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DPI statement on counterclaim filing in response to Wisconsin State Legislature lawsuit

Monday, May 13, 2024


DPI Media Line, (608) 266-3559
MADISON — The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction today filed a counterclaim in Circuit Court in response to the Legislature’s lawsuit regarding 2023 Wisconsin Act 20. The DPI believes the lawsuit has a severe impact on the implementation of Act 20, which reimagines the way Wisconsin students are taught to read. To date, the Joint Committee on Finance has not released over $49 million in funding appropriated in law to the DPI so the department can implement the law and positively impact student literacy.
DPI Associate Deputy State Superintendent Tom McCarthy released the following statement on the filing today:
“The Department of Public Instruction would remind legislative leadership there is strong bipartisan support for Act 20, which will significantly improve reading instruction in Wisconsin. However, as the JCF sits on $49 million intended for school districts to implement the law, Wisconsin schools, educators, and students struggle to move forward. Every day of delay makes it increasingly difficult for schools to meet the requirements of Act 20 and makes it harder for students to learn to read, so they can read to learn.
“The department’s goal is to improve literacy education and outcomes for Wisconsin students, not to participate in a political or constitutional debate. It is long past time for JCF to release the funding already authorized by the Legislature and the governor so we can focus on what matters most — helping kids learn to read.”
A copy of the court filing can be found in this PDF.

Official Release