Senator Parker Introduces Dyslexia Education Bill
Senator David Parker has introduced legislation to create a grant program by the State Department of Education to address the needs of students with dyslexia.
Parker’s Senate Bill 2296 would authorize and direct the State Department of Education to provide financial assistance for the recruitment, placement and employment of qualified licensed dyslexia therapy professionals to school districts. These dyslexia therapy professionals would provide dyslexia screening, evaluation and therapy services to the students attending school in the school district.
“Students with dyslexia have specific needs that go beyond standard training, but they deserve to have a quality education like all other students. This legislation would provide a mechanism for the state to assist local school districts in providing trained personnel to help students with dyslexia succeed,” Parker said.
“As a mom of two boys with dyslexia, we were unable to get the specialized instruction they need within the public school system. With as many as one-in-five students facing this learning difference, our schools need to learn to identify and then address the issue,” said Debra Dye of DeSoto County. “The funding provided by Senator Parker’s bill will help our schools with the resources needed to give these students the education that is appropriate for them.”
In his State of the State Address last week, Governor Phil Bryant spoke about dyslexia and said, “This reading disorder is the number one reason children drop out of school. If we confront it aggressively, we can see a dramatic decrease in our state’s dropout rate and help turn around our reading scores for thousands of Mississippi children.”
Funding for the measure would be appropriated by the legislature and could also be used to purchase curriculum materials and supplies for dyslexia therapy services.
To qualify for the funds, the school district would be required to use licensed dyslexia therapists or individuals participating in an approved training program; use daily Orton-Gillingham based therapy; have school leadership trained in dyslexia; and have a current School Program Verification and Assurances form on file with the State Department of Education.
“All students deserve the opportunity to learn, and measures like this one to address children with dyslexia, as well as others like the Equal Opportunity for Students with Special Needs Act, can bring needed reforms to Mississippi’s public schools,” said Parker.
The measure has been referred to the Senate Education Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration.Read More...