The Senate Dyslexia Screening Bill went into the hopper on 1/30/2019. Please ask your Senator to support Georgia Senate Bill 48: A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT…so as to provide for identification of and support for students in pre-kindergarten through second grade with dyslexia; to provide for definitions; to require the Department of Education to make a dyslexia informational handbook available to local school systems; to provide for certain information in the dyslexia informational handbook; to provide for ongoing professional development opportunities relating to dyslexia for teachers; to require local boards of education to develop policies for the identification and assistance of students with dyslexia; to provide for data collection; to provide for post-secondary teacher preparation programs to include instruction relating to students with dyslexia; to provide for the selection of local school systems to serve as dynamic laboratories of learning to demonstrate and evaluate the effectiveness of early reading assistance programs for students with risk factors for dyslexia; to provide for a report; to provide for a teaching endorsement in dyslexia; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.
Dyslexia Legislation Moves Forward – Update 12/18/2018
At the Dec. 12, 2018, Georgia Senate Study Committee on Dyslexia meeting, Senator Fran Millar led the presentation outlining what a future dyslexia bill might contain. Senator Millar stressed this is only the first step. We are more likely to see a “simple” bill passed than one with our entire wish list. The committee’s report specifies the University System of GA mandate a dyslexia and language disorders course of study for students studying to become teachers. Second, there will be a “mandated” dyslexia screening in schools for all kindergarten students and anyone up to 2nd grade transferring into schools in Georgia. The screening will include an examination of phonemic awareness and phonological processing, sound/symbol recognition, alphabet knowledge, decoding and encoding, and receptive and expressive language. Lastly, there will be statewide guidance, teacher training, and evaluation.
The committee is currently working on a handbook that includes information about dyslexia and language disorders. The GA Professional Standards Commission will also be creating a “Dyslexia Endorsement” for teachers and staff to be able to recognize and appropriately respond to children with dyslexia and language disorders. It has been recommended this become a mandated standard.
Senator Matt Blass will take over from outgoing Senator Fran Millar to submit the recommendations as a bill after the first of the year in time for mid-term funding. When asked about a possible timeline if approved and funded, Senator Millar noted the earliest screenings might possibly begin in Georgia would be the fall of 2020.
View the Dec. 12 meeting here: https://livestream.com/accounts/25225500/events/8321724/videos/184700199 (Please note: the first 14 minutes are static. The meeting discussion begins at approximately 14:07 minutes.)
What you can do? Continue to contact your local legislators with your support of this effort. Find your local legislator here: https://openstates.org/ga/legislators/
SR 761 – Purpose of the Senate Study Committee on Dyslexia
Per the resolution, SR 761, the purpose of the Dyslexia Study Committee is to explore and draw attention to the profound educational impact of dyslexia on the education and lives of countless children, adults, and students in the State of Georgia. Early diagnosis is critical to early remediation with evidence-based intervention. Dyslexia is the most common learning disability, affecting approximately one in five individuals and approximately 80 percent of all individuals with a learning disability.
The AJC Article
On 11/23/2018, the AJC ran an article about the efforts of the Senate Study Committee on Dyslexia: https://www.ajc.com/news/local-education/georgia-senate-committee-hopes-help-students-with-dyslexia/pCbVPUF7jG4MZJWsN6HWGN/
Numerous people have asked what they can do to support these efforts. Click here to view a letter from IDA-GA’s board president, Karen Huppertz.
Public Meetings of the SR 761 Senate Study Committee on Dyslexia
The meetings of the SENATE STUDY COMMITTEE ON DYSLEXIA have been held in Room 307 at the Coverdell Legislative Office Building (CLOB), 18 Capitol Square SW, Atlanta, GA 30303.
The Dyslexia Study Committee final meeting for the adoption of the recommendations will be Wednesday, December 12, 2018, at 3:00 pm in 307 CLOB. The link to view the meeting is https://livestream.com/accounts/25225500/events/8321724
Recordings of the Past 2018 Meetings of the SR761 GA Senate Study Committee on Dyslexia
Watch, listen, and learn right along with the senators! Hear presentations from experts and public comments by parents and professionals:
Video of Senate Study Committee Meeting, December 12 at 3:00 pm
The first 14 minutes are static. The meeting discussion begins at approximately 14:07 minutes.
Video of Senate Study Committee Meeting, October 19 at 10:25 am
You will need to fast forward to the beginning of the meeting; the meeting started at approximately 25 minutes 25 seconds into the recording. Also, note that there was a fire drill during the meeting. Simply fast forward through that adjournment period.
Video of Senate Study Committee Meeting, September 14 at 10 am
Southern Regional Education Board Presentation
SREB Reading Screenings
University System of Georgia Presentation
Department of Early Care and Learning Presentation
Summer 2018 Georgia Legislative Update: SR761
The Senate Study Committee on Dyslexia, created by Senate Resolution 761 and sponsored by Senator Fran Millar, will work throughout the year to study community-based solutions to better identify and meet the needs of Georgia’s dyslexic students.
On June 29, Georgia’s Lt. Governor Cagle appointed the following Senators to the committee:
Chairman Fran Millar, Matt Brass, and Gloria Butler.
On July 27, Governor Nathan Deal made an additional two appointments:
Dr. Leslie Stuart, clinical psychologist and former board member for the International Dyslexia Association GA, and Mr. Garry McGiboney, deputy state superintendent for external affairs and policy at the Georgia Department of Education.
Are you interested in getting involved? Decoding Dyslexia Georgia (DDGA), one of the International Dyslexia Association GA’s partners, has a Legislative Task Force with volunteer opportunities. DDGA is part of a network of parent-led grassroots movements across the country concerned with the limited access to educational interventions for dyslexia within the public education system.
IDA-GA looks forward to assisting the Senate Study Committee and the efforts of DDGA’s Legislative Task Force.
March 28, 2018 By now we hope you have heard the EXCITING NEWS: GA Senate Resolution 761 passed to create a study group for including dyslexia in the state education code! Thanks to each of you for joining IDA in contacting your legislators!
We plan to be part of the effort to form this committee – and we will look to you, our parents and partners, for guidance and support.
Along with our partners, Decoding Dyslexia Georgia and others, we will be supporting the following goals:
• A universal definition and understanding of “dyslexia” in the state education code
• Mandatory teacher training on dyslexia, its warning signs, and appropriate intervention strategies
• Mandatory early screening tests for dyslexia
• Mandatory dyslexia remediation programs, which can be accessed by both general and special education populations
• Access to appropriate “assistive technologies” in the public school setting for students with dyslexia
Read the resolution here: http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/20172018/173137.pdf
Follow us on Facebook and here on our website ga.dyslexiaida.org and Decoding Dyslexia at www.decodingdyslexiaga.com.
Laws and Local Policies
What are the dyslexia laws in states across the United States?
https://dyslexiaida.org/ (Scroll down to the map of the US. Click the state to view state laws.)
US Department of Education, IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Act) Information
Includes Statute and Regulations
US Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Letter October 25, 2015
The purpose of this letter is to clarify that there is nothing in the IDEA that would prohibit the use of the terms dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia in IDEA evaluation, eligibility determinations, or IEP documents.
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