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Testimony House Education Finance Committee for HF288 LETRS Training

Updated: Feb 24, 2021

Sara Spafford Freeman testified before the House Education Finance Committee in support of HF288 LETRS Training.

Her comments: Chair Davnie, members of the committee, good morning & thank you for the opportunity to speak today in support of House File 288. My name is Sara Spafford Freeman & I’m the parent of 3 children who attend Mpls Public Schools. Like thousands of his classmates, my son is a struggling reader. After years of struggle & the emotional toll that comes with it, our son was diagnosed with dyslexia. The “prescription” we were given for him was surprising & expensive – we were told to hire a tutor trained in the science of reading, and reading & spelling instruction. In just 1 year of this tutoring, 1 hour a week, during a pandemic, he’s progressed 2 grade levels. He’s still behind but his growth demonstrates the power of teachers trained in the science of reading and the promise of explicit, systematic literacy instruction. Our family’s experience also highlights the PRIVILEGE too often required to access these tools and the inequities perpetuated by a public school system lacking them. I’m a longtime volunteer at Mpls North H.S. & have seen what happens to students & families without this privilege. There are no panaceas when it comes to literacy instruction – but there are evidence-based tools that work and they belong in our public schools. I support HF 288 because it’s a needed investment in our public education system’s most critical asset: teachers. I thank Rep. Edelson for her leadership on this bill & implore committee members to support it . Thank you. The video of the hearing is available here starting at the 43:22 minute mark: Minnesota House of Representatives (

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