Dyslexia task force kicks off Thursday

A task force created by the 2018 Legislature to study how schools address dyslexia will hold its first meeting at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, July 12, in the Visitor’s Center classroom of the Statehouse.

Chaired by Kansas State Board of Education Chair Jim Porter and composed of legislators, educators, advocates and parents, the task force will review the group’s charge and responsibilities, discuss the use of a facilitator, elect a vice chair and set future meeting dates.

Addressing issues of dyslexia has been persistent area of controversy for many years, with some parents, service providers and advocates saying public schools are not doing enough to identify and assist students with dyslexia and should be required to do more. Special education leaders and other school groups have generally said services to students with dyslexia are already addressed in state and federal special education law and regulations, and that new requirements would duplicative, unnecessary or expensive.

As established by law, the task force is to:

  • Research and recommend evidence-based reading practices to address dyslexia or characteristics of dyslexia for use by schools;
  • Research and recommend high quality pre-service and in-service professional development activities to address reading difficulties like dyslexia, including identification of dyslexia and effective reading interventions to be used in schools and within degree programs, such as education, reading, special education, speech-language pathology, and psychology;
  • Study and examine current state and federal laws and rules and regulations, and the implementation of such laws and rules and regulations that affect students with dyslexia; and
  • 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 reading difficulties, such as dyslexia or the characteristics of dyslexia as part of an ongoing reading progress monitoring system, multi-tiered system of supports, and Child Find special education eligibility for students.

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