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A04330 Summary:

COSPNSRBrennan, Dinowitz, Miller, Mosley, Seawright, Titone, Tedisco, Gottfried, Colton, Cook, Finch, Robinson, Rodriguez, Perry, Farrell, Lalor, Quart, Weprin, O'Donnell, Buchwald, Jaffee, Arroyo, Peoples-Stokes, Linares, Jean-Pierre, McDonald, Woerner, Blake, Ortiz, Sepulveda, Dilan, Hunter, Richardson, Davila, Bichotte, Hyndman, Pichardo, Crespo, Harris
MLTSPNSRAbbate, Barron, Braunstein, Duprey, Giglio, Glick, Hevesi, Hikind, Hooper, Joyner, Lopez, Thiele
Amd SS3004 & 4402, Ed L
Requires the certification or training of teachers, administrators and instructors in the area of dyslexia and related disorders.
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A04330 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A4330A          REVISED MEMO 11/09/15
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to the certification or training of teachers, administrators and instructors in the area of dyslexia and related disorders   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill would require school districts to diagnose students as having dyslexia, to acknowledge the diagnosis on their Individual Education Plans (IEP), and to provide dyslexic students with teachers trained to instruct such students.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section one amends section 3004 of the education law to authorize the commissioner of education to certify or require training of teachers and school administrators in the area of dyslexia and related disorders. The section also provides a definition of dyslexia. Section two amends section 4402 of the education law to provide that if a committee or subcommittee of special education believes that a student may have dyslexia, the student must be sent to an evaluation for dysle- xia or related learning disorder. Section three amends section 4402 of the education law to provide that if a student is determined to have dyslexia, the recommendations on programs or placement for the student must be made by a team that is knowledgeable in instructing children with dyslexia. Section four amends section 4402 of the education law to require a school district to provide a teacher trained in dyslexia to any student who has been determined to have dyslexia or related learning disorder. Section five provides that this act shall take effect 30 days after it has become law.   JUSTIFICATION: A lot happens in the brain as we learn to read. It becomes a complicated and daunting task when letters and numbers become mixed up. Approximate- ly 15% of children have dyslexia, a brain based learning disability that makes word recognition, spelling and reading success a very difficult task. About 85% of children with learning disabilities have dyslexia making it the most prevalent learning disability in children. Yet, most parents, teachers, and administrators have trouble recognizing its symp- toms. Research shows that if students are not reading on grade level by third grade, they only have a 1 in 8 chance of catching up to their peers. This means that such students may not only experience adverse academic impacts, but also emotional and social problems as well. The key to overcoming this disability is to pinpoint the disability early so that these children can become proficient readers and do not fall behind their peers. The federal enabling legislation, the Individ- uals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 20 USC 1400, et seq. classi- fies children with disabilities according to a broad scheme of 13 cate- gories, one of which is "learning disability." Because of the way state education law has been written and implemented, currently students with dyslexia are broadly classified as "learning disabled," and school districts have interpreted this as a prohibition on the use of the words "dyslexia (reading disability)," "dysgraphia" (graphomotor disability), and "dyscalculia" (math disability). This has in turn caused schools to implement costly and usually ineffective interventions which do not address the key issues for students with dyslexia. Recent guidance form the U.S. Department of education has confirmed that while there is evidence that "State and local education agencies (SEAs and LEAs) are reluctant to reference or use dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia in evaluations, eligibility determinations or in developing the individual- ized education program (IEP) under the IDEA. The purpose of this (guid- ance) is to clarify that there is nothing in the IDEA that would prohib- it the use of the terms dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia in IDEA evaluation. Eligibility determinations or IEP documents." This bill would codify the intent of this federal guidance. Students with dyslexia need evidence-based, effective intervention such as structured, multisensory language based educational interventions in order to address the problem at hand. Our teachers must be familiar with expert approaches for helping struggling students to learn to read, write and spell. Students with dyslexia could receive appropriate remediation within an inclusion classroom or in an after school program where multi-sensory reading instruction takes place. The consequences of an inadequate education have a huge impact on our society. Children need the basic ability to read and write to become successful members of society. This legislation will improve school conditions so that children with dyslexia and related learning disabili- ties can have an equal opportunity to learn and become college and career ready. In the long run, it will help save the state money and improve the lives of the students in our state affected with this disa- bility.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: A9940 (S7797) of 2012. In Higher Ed.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS TO STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT: To be determined.   EFFECTIVE DATE: 30 days following enactment.
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