Gov. Rick Snyder today signed an executive order creating the PreK-12 Literacy Commission to provide policy recommendations and reports on the state's progress in becoming a national leader in literacy.
"Literacy is a key component to student development and achievement," Snyder said. "Michigan's future depends on making our education system a success from the first day of school. We need to do everything we can to prepare students to enter the workforce and take advantage of new opportunities in the 21st century economy."
The commission was created after state government leaders formed a workgroup to review state policies on literacy and determined an independent commission was needed to set literacy goals for the state and provide reports on progress.
The commission, established within the Michigan Department of Education, will investigate, analyze and advise on changes to state programs, statutes, regulations and policies concerning literacy; monitor literacy research, pilot programs and policies nationwide for potential adoption in Michigan; and encourage partnerships between the state, schools, businesses and nonprofit organizations to help boost literacy in the state.
It also will make recommendations on how state policies can better align with literacy challenges schools face based on their location, socioeconomic status and population; identify and publish best practices on literacy-focused development; and report on methods to engage parents in promoting literacy.
The commission will include individuals representing the business, education and philanthropic communities, who have an interest or expertise in literacy.
The 13-member commission will be composed of seven members appointed by the governor and an additional six members recommended by education and legislative leaders and appointed by the governor, including:
Two members submitted by the Superintendent of Public Instruction, who will serve four-year terms.
One member submitted by the Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives, who will serve a two-year term.
One member submitted by the Minority Leader of the Michigan House of Representatives, who will serve a two-year term.
One member submitted by the Michigan Senate Majority Leader, who will serve a two-year term.
One member submitted by the Michigan Senate Minority Leader, who will serve a two-year term.
Of the seven members appointed by the governor, two will serve terms expiring in January 2017, two will serve terms expiring in January 2018, two will serve terms expiring in January 2019, and one term will expire in January 2020.