MO Dyslexia Law and Dyslexia Task Force Recommendations

MO Dyslexia Law Addresses Screening, Classroom Support, Teacher Training, & Establishes the Dyslexia Task Force.  Task Force issues guidance in October of 2017.  DDMO helps secure funding for Dyslexia Specialist and Dyslexia Professional Development

Thanks to the hard work of our members, Decoding Dyslexia-MO was successful in getting a screening, professional development, and accommodations bill passed.  Governor Nixon signed House Bill 2379 and Senate Bill 638 on Wednesday, June 22, 2016 at 2pm in Springfield at the Ozarks Area Community Action Corporation (OACAC) Head Start location.

This act requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to develop guidelines for the appropriate screening of students for dyslexia and related disorders and to develop the necessary *classroom support for such students by December 31, 2017.  Beginning in the 2018-19 school year, each public school including charter schools, shall conduct dyslexia screenings and provide reasonable classroom support consistent with the guidelines developed by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Additionally, practicing teacher assistance programs shall include two hours of in-service training regarding dyslexia and related disorder provided by each school district for all practicing teachers.  Such training shall count as two contact hours of professional development.

 

This act also created the Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia.  The Task Force was required to advise and make recommendations to the Governor, Joint Committee on Education, and relevant state agencies.  The Task Force consisted of twenty members, as described in the act.   The Task Force published their recommendations for a statewide system for identification, intervention, and delivery of supports for students with dyslexia.  The Task Force recommendations were published in October of 2017: Task Force Recommendations.

In addition to working on this bill, DDMO members secured funding in the legislature for the Dyslexia Specialist position in the MO Dept. of Education.  Kim Stuckey was hired as MO’s Dyslexia Specialist and she has established several initiatives in her position including professional development programs and a dyslexia webpage on the MO Dept. of Education’s website (MO Dept. of Ed Dyslexia webpage).  DDMO also worked with the legislature and the Governor’s office to secure $250,000 for dyslexia professional development in MO.  A large portion of this money is being allocated to dyslexia training programs at the Regional Professional Development Centers through the State.

And NOW we are working on a bill that would create a “Reading Success Plan” (SB949) for any child reading below grade level.  The “Reading Success Plan” would require intensive instruction in methods approved by the National Reading Panel and the International Dyslexia Association.

These are tremendous steps forward for public school students in MO!

*support is defined as “low-cost and effective best practices, such as oral examinations and extended test-taking periods, used to support students who have dyslexia or any related disorder”.