Iowa 2009-2010 SB 412 – Special Education Alternative Reading Instruction

dancing alphabet lettersA bill  providing for a special education alternative reading instruction pilot project and including a contingency clause and an effective date. This bill establishes a pilot program focusing on improving reading skills in grades kindergarten through three. The bill states that the objective of the program shall be to evaluate methodologies and strategies used to teach reading that could be implemented to ensure that the state is meeting the unique needs of individual children, and to assist with student placement decisions in education programs, including placement in the special education program. The program shall be administered by the department of education, and shall involve instruction by a private education provider intended to demonstrate effective methodologies and strategies in teaching reading for students in grades kindergarten through three identified with special needs. The bill provides that a private provider shall be selected by the department which meets specified criteria. The department shall develop private provider application forms and shall publish notice regarding the program, and the selection process shall be conducted without bidding. The bill provides that eligible students shall be in grades kindergarten through three, residing in a county containing a school district with an enrollment of at least 25,000 students in grades kindergarten through 12, and shall have been identified as qualifying for special education services with mild or moderate learning disabilities involving difficulty in reading. The bill provides that school districts shall be responsible for determining the students who meet the eligibility requirements, in coordination with the local area education agency. The bill provides that the department shall select a maximum of 50 students from those students submitting an application. The bill provides that additional eligibility requirements may be established by the private provider, and that students submitting an application shall be provided with an intelligence test selected by the department and administered by the local area education agency.