MASS SENATE DISCUSSIONS ON DYSLEXIA SCREENING

By Bob Katzen

The House approved a Senate-approved bill that would require the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to issue guidelines to assist districts in developing screening procedures or protocols for students that demonstrate one or more potential indicators of dyslexia or other neurological learning disabilities.

“Children with dyslexia are bright and capable but frequently struggle in school because they lack access to the services they need to learn to read,” said Sen. Barbara L’Italien (D-Andover), the sponsor of the original version of the bill.  “This bill helps ensure that children with dyslexia can access research-based reading strategies so that they can learn to read and succeed just like their typically developing peers.”

“This bill, together with the work that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has been doing with regard to dyslexia and other learning disabilities, is a part of the state’s efforts to address the varied needs of a diverse student population,” said House Education Committee co-chair Alice Peisch (D-Wellesley). “I am confident that, should this bill be enacted, it will be a positive step forward in making sure that students who are often overlooked are getting the supports that they need as soon in their educational experience as reasonably possible.”

The Senate unanimously approved the bill in July. Only final approval in each branch is needed prior to the proposal going to Gov. Baker.

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