Dyslexia intervention bill goes to governor

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KY Capitol

FRANKFORT— The Kentucky House has given final passage to a bill that would guide local school district efforts to identify and teach young students with dyslexic traits.

House Bill 187, sponsored by Rep. Addia Wuchner, R-Florence, and known as the “Ready to Read Act” was approved by the House on a final vote of 87-0 today. The bill would require the state to make a dyslexia “toolkit” available to all school districts by next January to guide instruction of students with dyslexic traits in kindergarten through third grade. Districts could then develop policies to help those students, including policies for identification of students who display characteristics of dyslexia.

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Districts that choose to develop such policies would be required to provide the state with specific data by June 30 of each year, including data on the number of students in the district who were identified as displaying dyslexic traits and the number of students evaluated.

Also, a study project would be created to help the state learn more about early screening and intervention services for children with dyslexic traits. Three school districts—one urban, one suburban, and one rural – will be selected by the state to participate in the project, which would last three school years.

HB 187 would also require Kentucky colleges and universities—subject to available funding—to include training on dyslexia identification and interventions by the 2019-2020 academic year for students studying to become school teachers.

Dyslexia is defined by the bill as “a specific learning disability” that “is characterized by difficulties with accurate or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities.” Wuchner said in testimony on HB 187 in committee earlier this session that dyslexia is believed to affect nearly 60,000 Kentucky students.

“That would be the size of one of our largest or second largest school districts that may be affected by dyslexia,” she said. 

HB 187 now goes to the governor to be signed into law.

Media Release from the Legislative Research Commission