AB1369 the CA dyslexia bill goes to the sent
The California dyslexia bill, AB1369, passed the CA house of representatives this week. It will now go the the Senate. It is on it’s way to the Senate rules committee and expected to go to Senate floor at the end of August.
The current bill adds the description of “phonological processing” as an aspect that qualification can utilize. It states that the state superintendent will develop program guidelines for dyslexia that are evidence-based for school year 2017-2018 and this guide will be available online. The bill currently reads as follows:
Section 56334 is added to the Education Code, to read:
The state board shall include “phonological processing” in the description of basic psychological processes in Section 3030 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.
Section 56335 is added to the Education Code, to read:
(a) The Superintendent shall develop program guidelines for dyslexia to be used to assist regular education teachers, special education teachers, and parents to identify and assess pupils with dyslexia, and to plan, provide, evaluate, and improve educational services to pupils with dyslexia. For purposes of this section, “educational services” means an evidence-based, multisensory, direct, explicit, structured, and sequential approach to instructing pupils who have dyslexia.(b) The program guidelines shall include, but shall not be limited to, characteristics typical of pupils with dyslexia and strategies for their remediation, as well as information to assist educators in distinguishing between characteristics of dyslexia and characteristics of normal growth and development.(c) In developing program guidelines pursuant to subdivision (a), the Superintendent shall consult with teachers, school administrators, other educational professionals, medical professionals, parents, and other professionals involved in the identification and education of pupils with dyslexia.(d) The Superintendent shall complete the program guidelines in time for use no later than the beginning of the 2017–18 academic year.(e) The Superintendent shall disseminate the program guidelines through the department’s Internet Web site and provide technical assistance regarding their use and implementation to parents, teachers, school administrators, and faculty members in teacher training programs of institutions of higher education.
The screening of dyslexia and teacher training was removed following pressure from the CTA to kill the whole bill. The opposition from SELPA currently is that it will cost more money to identify students with phonological processing issues. While it is true that there will be more costs in assessments, in the long run, it will cost less, because students can get remediation early which will take much less time. CSBA also opposed the bill. After amendments were made, CTA changed their position to neutral, neither opposing nor supporting.
Parents have asked what they can do. I would guide you to Decoding Dyslexia
for legislative updates. Parents can sign up for email updates and learn how they can have their voices heard. In addition, we need to educate those agencies that are opposing this bill. It will not be long before another bill is submitted to bring back screening and mandatory teacher education. We would like these agencies on our side. The best position is for members of these groups: CTA, SELPA administrators and CSBA to write to their organization headquarters asking for them to support dyslexia, screening and teacher training. Although outside parents can do this, it would be more effective to have their own members to advocate within their own organization.
I am grateful that all three votes to this point have been unanimous. With over 5500 letters from parents, teachers, administrators and politicians in support of this bill, capital hill is hearing the roar of families who are asking for support their their loved one with dyslexia. I will share more information as the legislative process continues and grows organically.