Truly Agreed, 2016

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CCS SCS SB 638, 2016    (New Section - Proposed Language)

633.420. 1. For the purposes of this section, the term "dyslexia" means a disorder that is neurological in origin, characterized by difficulties with accurate and fluent word recognition, and poor spelling and decoding abilities that typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language, often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction, and of which secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a district from assessing students for dyslexia and offering students specialized reading instruction if a determination is made that a student suffers from dyslexia. Unless required by federal law, nothing in this definition shall require a student with dyslexia to be automatically determined eligible as a student with a disability.
     2. There is hereby created the "Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia". The joint committee on education shall provide technical and administrative support as required by the task force to fulfill its duties; any such support involving monetary expenses shall first be approved by the chairman of the joint committee on education. The task force shall meet at least quarterly and may hold meetings by telephone or video conference. The task force shall advise and make recommendations to the governor, joint committee on education, and relevant state agencies regarding matters concerning individuals with dyslexia, including education and other adult and adolescent services.
     3. The task force shall be comprised of twenty members consisting of the following:
     (1) Two members of the senate appointed by the president pro tempore of the senate, with one member appointed from the minority party and one member appointed from the majority party;
     (2) Two members of the house of representatives appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives, with one member appointed from the minority party and one member appointed from the majority party;
     (3) The commissioner of education, or his or her designee;
     (4) One representative from an institution of higher education located in this state with specialized expertise in dyslexia and reading instruction;
     (5) A representative from a state teachers association or the Missouri National Education Association;
     (6) A representative from the International Dyslexia Association of Missouri;
     (7) A representative from Decoding Dyslexia of Missouri;
     (8) A representative from the Missouri Association of Elementary School Principals;
     (9) A representative from the Missouri Council of Administrators of Special Education;
     (10) A professional licensed in the state of Missouri with experience diagnosing dyslexia including, but not limited to, a licensed psychologist, school psychologist, or neuropsychologist;
     (11) A speech-language pathologist with training and experience in early literacy development and effective research-based intervention techniques for dyslexia, including an Orton-Gillingham remediation program recommended by the Missouri Speech-Language Hearing Association;
     (12) A certified academic language therapist recommended by the Academic Language Therapists Association who is a resident of this state;
     (13) A representative from an independent private provider or nonprofit organization serving individuals with dyslexia;
     (14) An assistive technology specialist with expertise in accessible print materials and assistive technology used by individuals with dyslexia recommended by the Missouri assistive technology council;
     (15) One private citizen who has a child who has been diagnosed with dyslexia;
     (16) One private citizen who has been diagnosed with dyslexia;
     (17) A representative of the Missouri State Council of the International Reading Association; and
     (18) A pediatrician with knowledge of dyslexia.
     4. The members of the task force, other than the members from the general assembly and ex officio members, shall be appointed by the president pro tempore of the senate or the speaker of the house of representatives by September 1, 2016, by alternating appointments beginning with the president pro tempore of the senate. A chairperson shall be selected by the members of the task force. Any vacancy on the task force shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment. Members shall serve on the task force without compensation.
     5. The task force shall make recommendations for a statewide system for identification, intervention, and delivery of supports for students with dyslexia, including the development of resource materials and professional development activities. These recommendations shall be included in a report to the governor and joint committee on education and shall include findings and proposed legislation and shall be made available no longer than twelve months from the task force's first meeting.
     6. The recommendations and resource materials developed by the task force shall:
     (1) Identify valid and reliable screening and evaluation assessments and protocols that can be used and the appropriate personnel to administer such assessments in order to identify children with dyslexia or the characteristics of dyslexia as part of an ongoing reading progress monitoring system, multi-tiered system of supports, and special education eligibility determinations in schools;
     (2) Recommend an evidence-based reading instruction, with consideration of the National Reading Panel Report and Orton-Gillingham methodology principles for use in all Missouri schools, and intervention system, including a list of effective dyslexia intervention programs, to address dyslexia or characteristics of dyslexia for use by schools in multi-tiered systems of support and for services as appropriate for special education eligible students;
     (3) Develop and implement preservice and inservice professional development activities to address dyslexia identification and intervention, including utilization of accessible print materials and assistive technology, within degree programs such as education, reading, special education, speech-language pathology, and psychology;
     (4) Review teacher certification and professional development requirements as they relate to the needs of students with dyslexia;
     (5) Examine the barriers to accurate information on the prevalence of students with dyslexia across the state and recommend a process for accurate reporting of demographic data; and
     (6) Study and evaluate current practices for diagnosing, treating, and educating children in this state and examine how current laws and regulations affect students with dyslexia in order to present recommendations to the governor and joint committee on education.
     7. The task force shall hire or contract for hire specialist services to support the work of the task force as necessary with appropriations made by the general assembly for that purpose or from other available funding.
     8. The task force authorized under this section shall expire on August 31, 2018.


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