An Act amending the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), known as the Public School Code of 1949, in preliminary provisions, further providing for definitions; and, in Dyslexia and Early Literacy Intervention Pilot Program, further providing for definitions and for establishment of program. Defines dyslexia; establishes pilot program in 8 school districts to provide intervention based on synthetic phonics and structured literacy.
Modifies legal defintition of “specific learning disability”. As enacted, the bill provides this definition:
“Specific learning disability” means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or to do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia and developmental aphasia. The term does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing or motor disabilities, of intellectual disability, of emotional disturbance or of environmental, cultural or economic disadvantage;
An Act relating to the establishment of the Legislative Task Force on Reading Proficiency and Dyslexia. Establishes 12 member task force to report findings on dyslexia by March 29, 2019.
There is hereby established the legislative task force on dyslexia. The task force shall advise and make recommendations to the
governor, the legislature and the state board of education regarding matters concerning the use of evidence-based practices for students with dyslexia. The work of the task force should be completed by January 2, 2019, and a report prepared and submitted to the governor, the legislature and the state board of education by January 30, 2019
Makes various changes to the K-3 Reading Program.
- Requires, applicants for elementary teaching certificates to complete 45 classroom hours, or three credit hours, in reading instruction, including training on assessments, instructional practices and interventions to improve student reading proficiency.
To define necessary terms, to require the state department of education to provide a universal screening tool for use by local school districts to screen students in kindergarten through second grade for characteristics of dyslexia beginning with the 2019-2020 school year.
Requiring certain county boards of education, beginning with the 2019-2020 school year, to ensure that a certain student is screened to identify if the student is at risk for reading difficulties; authorizing a county board to use a screening instrument that includes a normed rapid automatized naming assessment for certain students; requiring a county board to monitor a student who receives structured literacy reading instruction for an appropriate time period; requiring a county board to provide certain progress reports; etc.
Provides that the State Department of Education shall develop and distribute a technical assistance document to provide guidance for school districts and teachers on how to understand and provide evidence-based interventions for dyslexia. Also provides that students exhibiting characteristics of dyslexia shall receive evidence-based structured literacy instruction using a multisensory approach as provided in the technical assistance document for dyslexia.