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Introduced Version Senate Bill 662 History

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Senate Bill No. 662

(By Senators Unger, Jenkins and Stollings)

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[Introduced February 20, 2012; referred to the Committee on Education.]

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A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §18-2-36a; and to amend said code by adding thereto a new section, designated §18-20-1e, all relating to defining “dyslexia”; establishing a dyslexia screening and intervention pilot project; and establishing a dyslexia teacher training pilot program.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §18-2-36a; and that said code by amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §18-20-1e, all to read as follows:

ARTICLE 2. STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION

§18-2-36a. Dyslexia Screening and Intervention Pilot Project.

    (a) As used in this section, “dyslexia” means a specific learning disorder that is neurological in origin and that is characterized by unexpected difficulties with accurate or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities not consistent with the intelligence, motivation and sensory capabilities of the person, which difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language.

    (b) The state board shall establish a pilot project to provide early screening and intervention services for children with risk factors for dyslexia.

    (1) The state superintendent shall select three school districts to participate in the pilot project.

    (2) To be considered for the pilot project, a school district shall submit a proposal to the state superintendent that identifies a method of screening children for low phonemic awareness and other risk factors for dyslexia, provides for the enrollment of children identified as having risk factors for dyslexia in a reading program staffed by teachers trained in multisensory structured language programs and includes a methodology for evaluating the effects of the reading program on the children’s identified risk factors.

    (3) Each participating school district, through early childhood reading instruction and reading assistance programs, shall screen children six years of age or younger for indications of dyslexia, provide appropriate reading intervention services for those children identified as having risk factors for dyslexia and administer assessments, approved by the state superintendent, to ascertain whether the intervention services improve those students' reading and learning.

    (A) When a child is identified as having risk factors for dyslexia, the school district shall notify the child's parent or guardian of that fact and that the child, as part of the pilot project, is eligible to receive reading intervention services to measure the effectiveness of early reading assistance programs.

    (B) The parent or guardian shall indicate in writing that he or she voluntarily and knowingly consents to the child's participation in the pilot project for the provision of reading intervention services.

    (C) Each school district shall provide to the parents of children identified as having risk factors for dyslexia information about the learning disability, recommended multisensory treatments and available services.

    (4) The state superintendent shall apply for private and other nonstate funds and shall use available state funds appropriated to the Department of Education for the pilot project.

    (5) The state superintendent shall establish guidelines and procedures for the pilot project.

    (6) The state superintendent shall consult with an organization or organizations that specializes in multisensory structured language programs for the treatment of dyslexia in establishing and operating the pilot project.

    (7) Each participating school district shall report to the state superintendent regarding the progress of the pilot project with a level of frequency to be determined by the superintendent, but no less frequently than twice annually.

    (8) The pilot project shall run for three full school years, beginning with the 2012-2013 school year.

    (9) The goal of this pilot project is to demonstrate and evaluate the effectiveness of early reading assistance programs for children with risk factors for dyslexia and to evaluate whether those programs can reduce future special education costs.

    (c) The state board shall report to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability by December 1, 2012 and by December 1 thereafter for the duration of the pilot projects on the effect of the projects on diagnosing and treating children with risk factors for dyslexia.

ARTICLE 20. EDUCATION OF EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN.

§18-20-1e. Creation of a dyslexia teacher training pilot program.

    (a) As used in this section, “dyslexia” means a specific learning disorder that is neurological in origin and that is characterized by unexpected difficulties with accurate or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities not consistent with the intelligence, motivation and sensory capabilities of the person, which difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language.

    (b) The state board shall establish a pilot project to educate teachers on recognizing and adapting to children with risk factors for dyslexia.

    (1) The state superintendent shall select one or more institutions of higher education and three school districts to participate in the pilot program.

    (2) The selected institution(s) of higher education shall:

    (A) Provide teachers of grades kindergarten through fourth in the selected school districts with programs or institutes designed to train teachers on the indicators of dyslexia and the types of instruction that children with risk factors for dyslexia need to learn, read, write and spell, including multisensory structured language programs; and

    (B) Provide instruction for teacher candidates enrolled in the elementary, early childhood education or special education program at the institution, which is incorporated into the programs for the school districts and is designed to train the teacher candidates on the indicators of dyslexia and the type of instruction that children with risk factors for dyslexia need to learn, read, write and spell, including multisensory structured language programs.

    (3) The state superintendent shall apply for private and other nonstate funds and shall use available state funds appropriated to the Department of Education for the pilot project.

    (4) The state superintendent shall establish guidelines and procedures for the pilot project, including benchmarks for the evaluation of the project.

    (5) The pilot project shall run for a length of time to be determined by the state board.

    (6) The participating institution(s) of higher education and participating school districts shall file reports concerning the pilot program with the state superintendent at intervals to be determined by the superintendent.

    (7) The goal of this pilot project is to demonstrate and evaluate the effectiveness of training teachers to provide early reading assistance programs for children with risk factors for dyslexia and to evaluate whether the early assistance programs can reduce future special education costs.

    (c) The state board shall report to the Legislative Oversight Commission on Education Accountability by December 1, 2012, and each December 1 thereafter for the duration of the pilot projects on the effect of the projects on teachers’ and teacher candidates’ ability to detect and adapt to dyslexia.

 

 

    NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to establish a pilot project for dyslexia screening and intervention and a pilot project to educate teachers on recognizing and adapting to children with dyslexia in order to improve the education children with dyslexia receive in West Virginia.


    §18-2-36a and §18-20-1e are new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.

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