166371-1:n:03/23/2015:PMG/th LRS2015-1200




SB314
By Senator Brewbaker
RFD Education and Youth Affairs
Rd 1 31-MAR-15


SYNOPSIS:This bill would define dyslexia and require each public school district to identify students with dyslexia and provide them with appropriate educational services including dyslexia-specific intervention.
 Amendment 621 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, now appearing as Section 111.05 of the Official Recompilation of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended, prohibits a general law whose purpose or effect would be to require a new or increased expenditure of local funds from becoming effective with regard to a local governmental entity, or a city or county board of education, without enactment by a 2/3 vote unless: it comes within one of a number of specified exceptions; it is approved by the affected entity; or the Legislature appropriates funds, or provides a local source of revenue, to the entity for the purpose.
 The purpose or effect of this bill would be to require a new or increased expenditure of local funds within the meaning of the amendment.

A BILL
TO BE ENTITLED
AN ACT

Relating to students with dyslexia; to define dyslexia and require each public school district to identify students with dyslexia and provide them with appropriate educational services including dyslexia-specific intervention; and in connection therewith would have as its purpose or effect the requirement of a new or increased expenditure of local funds within the meaning of Amendment 621 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, now appearing as Section 111.05 of the Official Recompilation of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA:

Section 1. (a) The Legislature finds and declares the following:

(1) Dyslexia is a lifelong learning difference found in 10-20 percent of the population.

(2) The graduation rate for students with dyslexia is considerably lower than the graduation rate of the general education population despite the fact that students with dyslexia have normal intelligence.

(3) More than half of all inmates in the United States are illiterate and many of those have dyslexia.

(4) Further difficulties of students with dyslexia are impairments in handwriting, written expression, rote math calculations, speech, word retrieval, and processing speed.

(5) Schools have a history of limiting needed interventions for students with dyslexia to only those students who also have an established history of reading failure and who therefore qualify under state and federal regulations for special education services as students with specific learning disabilities.

(6) Without early identification and dyslexia-specific intervention, students with dyslexia are likely to experience long-term, serious academic disabilities, reduced self-esteem, increased emotional and social difficulties, and are at significant risk of dropping out of school.

(7) Early identification and appropriate dyslexic-specific early intervention provided through general education will significantly reduce the negative academic and social impacts of dyslexia thereby equipping individuals with dyslexia to be literate, productive Alabama citizens, realizing their full potential, and contributing to the economic well-being of Alabama.

(b) As used in this section, "dyslexia" means a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin, characterized by difficulties with accurate or fluent word recognition and poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.

(c) Public k-12 schools shall identify students with dyslexia and provide these students with appropriate educational services within general education. These services shall be provided by teachers who have been appropriately prepared or trained to provide services.

(d) The State Board of Education shall promulgate rules in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act to implement this section.

Section 2. This act shall become effective on the first day of the third month following its passage and approval by the Governor, or its otherwise becoming law.


Education
Students
Public Schools
Special Education
Board of Education, State