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WASHINGTON, D.C.–Congresswoman Erin Houchin (R-Ind.-9) spoke about the importance of returning to phonics-based reading instruction for children. On Wednesday during a hearing for House Education and Workforce Committee, Houchin said a transition to phonics-based instruction can help bridge the gap of declining reading scores.

“My son is dyslexic. Many of our colleagues have children with dyslexia or other reading disabilities. So, I’ve worked on this issue very closely in the state of Indiana as a legislator … We are making progress toward a more phonics-based instruction. I’m really glad of that, but I do know firsthand how hard it is to turn the bureaucratic barge in the state of Indiana,” said Houchin.

Houchin said she had spoken with the Dyslexia Institute of Indiana and that Institute shares their support for a phonics-based approach. She represents Indiana’s 9th congressional district, which includes the south suburbs of Indianapolis to the Indiana side of the Louisville metropolitan area.

Proponents of “balanced literacy” say it is reasonably effective. Critics of it say, however, that it is only effective for children to which reading comes easily, which is less than half of students.

Phonics is a method for teaching people how to read and write an alphabetic language.

Wednesday was the first House Education and Workforce Committee hearing of the 118th Congress.