House Bill 149 passed through the House with a 114-0 vote.
It is now in the Committee On Rules and Operations in the Senate.
If signed into law it would:
- Define dyslexia
- Ensure that professional development on dyslexia, dyscalculia, & other specific learning disabilities is made available by the State Board of Education
- Require State Board of Education to develop information electronically about dyslexia, educational methodologies, screening and what is available to support children with dyslexia in North Carolina
- Require boards of education to review diagnostic tools and screening instruments used for dyslexia
This bill is a great starting place for promoting awareness about dyslexia and dyscalculia in North Carolina schools. We would like to encourage the Senate to take this bill and strengthen it by requiring that all Kindergartners be screened for dyslexia. One of the reasons we are advocating that early screening be required, is so schools can address the needs of dyslexic children with proper intervention strategies before they start needlessly failing. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics “Children identified as reading disabled after 2nd grade rarely catch up to their peers.”
Suggested Screening Amendment for HB 149:
- School Board of Education shall develop and distribute to all school districts guidelines and training for the screening of all students, for the identification of characteristics that are associated with risk factors for dyslexia, as defined.
- Before the end of Kindergarten, such screening shall be implemented using evidence-based testing methodologies and shall include, but not be limited to tests to identify:
(A) Phonological and phonemic awareness (PA);
(B) Rapid automated naming skills (RAN);
(C) Letter sound knowledge (LSK);
(D) Encoding skills;
(E) Oral Comprehension;
(F) Word Identification; and
(G) Family history of reading/spelling difficulties or dyslexia (parents, grandparents, sibling)
- Students identified as having characteristics associated with risk factors for dyslexia pursuant to this section shall be referred for evaluation for special education services.
- The parent or legal guardian of any student who is identified by the public school as having characteristics associated with risk factors for dyslexia and related disorders shall be notified and provided with all screening information and findings, in addition to periodic formal screening results based on individual written intervention and support plans developed with the student’s parents or legal guardian.
- The student’s school district shall provide evidence-based intervention and support services for any student who is identified as having characteristics that are associated with risk factors for dyslexia and related disorders.
Please contact your Senator and ask that they report HB 149 out of the Committee On Rules and Operations and that they consider strengthening this bill with required screening. We need all of your help and support to bring about positive changes for students with dyslexia!
Find your Senator