Kansas – 2013-2014 – SB 44 – Dyslexia Identification and Services

studentAN ACT concerning school districts; relating to the identification and instruction of pupils with dyslexia. The bill requires Kansas schools to accept the diagnosis of dyslexia from any licensed psychologist, physician or psychiatrist, and to provide services for all children with a dyslexia diagnosis.

Specific Provisions:

Upon receipt of a written statement from a licensed physician, psychologist or psychiatrist, stating that a child has been diagnosed with dyslexia, a school district shall implement best practices in instructing such child pursuant to rules and regulations adopted by the state board of education. No evaluation or independent educational evaluation shall be required prior to the implementation of such best practices. The term “dyslexia” shall be used in all individualized education programs, 504 accommodation plans and other educational plans

The state board of education shall adopt rules and regulations(1) To establish best practices of instruction in general education for children with dyslexia, including, but not limited to, implementation of a section 504 accommodation plan. Such services shall be provided on a continuum under the response to intervention model, and shall not be limited if the student qualifies and needs remediation. Such services shall provide an individual or small group learning environment outside the regular classroom with access to instructional strategies that utilize intensive multisensory phonetic methods for 90 minutes per instructional day;

(2) to require school districts to provide early screening or testing of pupils enrolled in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and grades one and two to identify those pupils with significant language and literacy disorders including, but not limited to, dyslexia; and

(3) to require that teachers successfully complete teacher preparation courses that include the language essentials for teachers of reading and spelling curriculum or other appropriate intensive multisensory teacher training programs that are specifically designed for children with dyslexia, and knowledge of best practices of instruction for children with dyslexia, including scientifically-based reading instructional components.

(c)  the term “dyslexia” means a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin, and characterized by difficulties with accurate or fluent word recognition and poor spelling and decoding abilities. The term “dyslexia” includes: (1) Those difficulties described above that result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction; and (2) secondary consequences, such as problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede the growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.

Requires annual reporting to the legislature.

Provides that if a child diagnosed with dyslexia is not provided appropriate intensive multisensory instruction within six weeks from the date the notification of such diagnosis is delivered to the school district, then the school district shall pay for appropriate intensive multisensory instruction provided by a third party, who shall be selected by the parent of the child, including the costs of transportation to and from the location where such instruction is being provided.