HB 3244 as currently written would outlaw the provision of private services for dyslexia of any kind except by persons licensed as multisensory structured language education (MSLE) therapists. We are strongly opposed to this law as presently worded.
Texas already has a system of licensing in place, and under a law passed in 2009 prohibited the use of the title “licensed dyslexia therapist” by unlicensed individuals, and licensing only MSLE providers. This law would go further by prohibiting the private provision of all forms of dyslexia intervention and remediation except by fully licensed Dyslexia Therapists, whether or not the intervention is based on MSLE. The bill does this by expanding the definition of “dyslexia therapy”.
Section 2 (2-b) of the bill defines dyslexia therapy as “the application of nonmedical principles, methods, and procedures for identifying, mitigating, or remediating dyslexia in individuals.”
Section 5 amends Section 403.101 of the state Occupations Code to provide that subject to certain exceptions, “a person may not engage in the practice of dyslexia therapy unless the person holds a license”.
Section 9 (b) provides “A person may not practice dyslexia therapy in a private practice setting, including a learning center or clinic, unless the person is a licensed dyslexia therapist.”
The provisions of the law do not apply to teachers employed in private or public schools, so this bill would do not impact or change the quality of in-school services available to dyslexic children in Texas.
The effect of this bill would be to prevent adults and families in Texas from accessing any form of private intervention or support services for dyslexia except for the one type of tutoring. This would include services such as the following programs currently available through dedicated learning centers established in Texas:
- Lindamood Bell Seeing Stars ®
- Lindamood Bell Visualizing and Verbalizing (V/V ® )
- Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing ® (LiPS ® )
- Brain Balance (available at Brain Balance Achievement Centers)
- LearningRx Brain Training
- Services from Dyslexia Institutes of America
The law would also prohibit separate programs and approaches offered by qualified private individuals or at multi-service learning centers, such as the following:
- Davis ® Dyslexia Correction
- Barton Reading & Spelling System
- PACE Cognitive Training
Additionally, this law would prohibit individual tutors from offering support to students using untitled or unbranded techniques, or based on their own experience — this would include many who are retired teachers with years of experience, even as reading specialists — but without the specific MSLE training that has only recently been standardized.
Action Alert: This bill is currently pending in the Texas House Committee on Public Education. You can click the link for a list of all committee members. If you live in Texas, please call or write your representatives to register your feelings about this bill.