Patricia Billie Miller


Patricia Billie Miller



March 30, 2023

Sen. Miller leads Right to Read Roundtable Discussion

HARTFORD, CT – State Senator and Black and Puerto Rican Caucus Chair Patricia Billie Miller (D-Stamford) led a roundtable discussion on the implementation and district transformation of the Right to Read legislation in Connecticut schools. The roundtable table discussion was hosted by the Connecticut Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity & Opportunity (CWCSEO), the Right to Read CT Coalition, and the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus. The conversation enabled those involved to provide an update on the progress of this law.


“Reading is the building block for all learning and we must continue, through the Right to Read agenda, to target learning loss made worse by the pandemic and address opportunity gaps that still persist in our state,” said Sen. Miller. “Reading and literacy is not only a fundamental component of any person’s success, but also a matter of civil rights. I am very proud of the work everyone has done to implement this important law and I look forward to continuing the work to ensure every student can reap the benefits of the development of evidence and scientifically based curricula that we know is proven to work.”


Joining Sen. Miller for the discussion was Connecticut State Department of Education Commissioner Dr. Charlene Russell-Tucker, New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker, Director of Reading and Literacy for the Connecticut State Department of Education Dr. Melissa Hickey, Chief Academic Officer for Bridgeport Public Schools Dr. Melissa Jenkins, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment for Colchester Public Schools Dr. Charles Hewes, CREC Museum Academy and Bloomfield Public Schools Principal Shandra Brown and Supervisor of Elementary Reading and Language Arts and Waterbury Public Schools Dena Mortensen.


Right to Read legislation was passed in 2021. Per the Right to Read Coalition’s website, this law “systematizes a statewide reading response—based on the Science of Reading—by requiring the state to oversee all state and local efforts related to literacy, including setting reading curriculum requirements for districts, providing professional development, hiring external literacy coaches, and coordinating with teacher preparation programs. A newly established Center for Literacy Research and Reading Success is the hub of this work.” Through this law, every district is required to implement evidence and scientifically based curricula and to provide educators with aligned professional development to ensure the research and work done by the Center for Literacy Research and Reading Success reaches every kindergarten-to-Grade 3 classroom statewide.


In order to best position school districts for this new way of teaching reading, recently legislation passed out of the Education Committee that will adjust the timelines for implementation of the Right to Read law. This could not have been done without the collaboration of all parties working together.