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February16

Dyslexia policy bill passed by comm

An amended version of a bill adding support for dyslexic – and similarly learning disabled – students passed its first legislative committee.

 

On a 13-2 vote, House Education committee members supported House Bill 1133, which requires a school district to adopt a policy to provide for students with specific learning disabilities, including dyslexia.

 

Initially, HB 1133 proposed a prescriptive plan, but the amendment brought by bill sponsor Rep. Lynne DiSanto called for the adoption of a policy by the school that provides additional educational support for students with dyslexia and other similarly specific learning disabilities.

 

“Most schools are doing this, but there are some that are not,” Rep. Thomas Holmes said, adding that the bill improves the identification and support process so no more students “fall through the cracks.”

 

HB 1133 will work in tandem with the South Dakota Department of Education’s proposed five year plan to support struggling readers, including students with dyslexia.

 

Secretary of Education Melody Schopp said DOE’s plan is “reiterating the importance” of focusing on dyslexia and includes additional teacher training, development of added literacy programs and support of schools to use screeners to identify students with dyslexic characteristics, among other initiatives.

 

“We need to identify and make sure we’re following through on that plan,” Schopp said.

 

ASBSD is monitoring the bill, which now heads to the House floor for review.

 

For updates on the bill, check the ASBSD BlogTwitter feed and Bill Tracker.

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