Alabama 2019 – HB 388 – Literacy Act

Map and Seal of Alabama

Relating to public education; to establish the Alabama Literacy Act; to implement steps to improve the reading proficiency of public school kindergarten to third grade students and ensure that those students are able to read at or above grade level by the end of the third grade by monitoring the progression of each student from one grade to another, in part, by his or her proficiency in reading.

Includes a definition of dyslexia as a specific learning challenge that is neurobiological in origin.

Requires creation of a state education task force to provide recommendations for comprehensive core reading and reading intervention programs.

Allocates funds for reading instruction, including differentiated reading instruction and intensive intervention based on student need, including students exhibiting the characteristics of dyslexia. Requires schools to provide additional tutorial support to students determined to have a reading deficiency. Dyslexia specific intervention shall be provided to students with characteristics of dyslexia and all struggling readers.

Requires retention of students who do not meet minimal essential reading standards at the end of third grade, with exemptions for certain students with learning disabilities, and Engllish language learners. Prohibits retention more than twice during kindergarten through third grade and provides for ongoing instructional support for exempted students who are promoted.