2017 Regular Session
To: Education; Revenue and Expenditure General Bills
By: Representative Dixon
AN ACT TO CREATE NEW SECTION 37-173-16, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL DYSLEXIA� SCREENINGS AND COMPREHENSIVE EVALUATIONS FOR STUDENTS AT ANY TIME THE STUDENT IS ENROLLED IN PUBLIC SCHOOL AT ANY TIME DEEMED NECESSARY BASED ON RECOMMENDATIONS OF A TEACHER OR UPON THE REQUEST OF A PARENT OR LEGAL GUARDIAN UPON OBSERVING A SUBSTANTIAL DEFICIENCY IN A STUDENT'S ABILITY TO MAINTAIN ADEQUATE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE DUE TO THE STUDENT'S EXPERIENCING DYSLEXIA-LIKE SYMPTOMS; TO REQUIRE SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO PERFORM A COMPREHENSIVE EVALUATION OF A STUDENT WHO FAILS THE DYSLEXIA SCREENER; TO PROVIDE THAT THE COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH SUBSEQUENT DYSLEXIA SCREENING AND COMPREHENSIVE EVALUATION SHALL BE PAID FOR BY THE SCHOOL DISTRICT OF THE STUDENT'S ENROLLMENT AND ATTENDANCE; TO AMEND SECTION 37-173-15, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY TO THE PRECEDING PROVISIONS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
���� BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
���� SECTION 1.� The following shall be codified as Section 37-173-16, Mississippi Code of 1972:���
���� 37-173-16.� (1) Each local school district shall adopt a policy to ensure that students enrolled in kindergarten or Grade 1 who fail the dyslexia screener required under Section 37-173-15, and students enrolled in subsequent grades who demonstrate factors commonly associated with dyslexia and related disorders, as evidenced by the observation of a classroom teacher, parent or legal guardian, will be provided a comprehensive evaluation to be administered by a dyslexia diagnostician or any licensed professional authorized under Section 37-173-15(1)(b).
���� (2)� When a student in Grade 2 or higher demonstrates
a deficiency in the ability to maintain adequate academic performance due to the student's experiencing dyslexia-like symptoms, as evidenced by the observation of a classroom teacher, parent or legal guardian, the student shall be screened in accordance with Section 37-173-15 and through the early literacy and numeracy screening required under Section 37-23-16.� If the student fails the screenings, the parent or legal guardian of the student shall be notified of the failure and that the child is in need of intervention.� The appropriate time for students described in the subsections to be screened shall depend upon multiple factors inlcuding:
��������� (a)� The student's reading performance;
��������� (b)� The student's difficulties in reading;
��������� (c)� Poor response to supplemental, scientifically based reading instruction; and
��������� (d)� Input from the student's teacher(s) and parents or legal guardians.
���� (3)� (a)� A Response to Intervention (RTI), established in accordance with Section 37-173-9(2), shall be used to address the needs of the student and shall initiate the right of the parent or legal guardian, in their discretion, to request a comprehensive evaluation of the student pending the results of the RTI.� The use of the RTI shall not delay or deny the administration of a comprehensive evaluation when the purpose of intervention is revealed through teacher or parent observations.� If the RTI indicates the possibility of dyslexia, the student shall receive a comprehensive evaluation upon the request of the student's parent or legal guardian.
��������� (b)� When a parent or legal guardian requests a comprehensive evaluation be administered, the school district shall cause a dyslexia diagnostician or other licensed professional to administer the evaluation in compliance with Section 37-173-15.� Upon completion of the evaluation the school district shall review the student's data history, evaluation results and diagnostician's diagnosis to determine whether the student has dyslexia and qualifies under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to receive services and funding under the provisions of the IDEA before proceeding to the development of a 504 Plan for each dyslexic student eligible for educational services, equipment or both under Chapter 23, Title 37, Mississippi Code of 1972.��
��������� (c)� If the school district determines the student does not have dyslexia for purposes of IDEA or the development of a 504 Plan, the parent or legal guardian shall be notified of the districts determination, the parent or legal guardian may exercise the option to have a subsequent independent comprehensive evaluation performed, administered by a dyslexia diagnostician or any licensed professional authorized under Section 37-173-15(1)(b), the cost of such evaluation to be paid by the local school district of the student's enrollment and attendance.� The resulting diagnosis of the subsequent comprehensive evaluation must be accepted by the school district for purposes of determining eligibility for placement within a dyslexia therapy program within the current school to receive direct intervention or to receive a Mississippi Dyslexia Therapy Scholarship for placement in a dyslexia program in another public school or nonpublic special purpose school.
���� SECTION 2.� Section 37-173-15, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
���� 37-173-15.� (1)� (a)� Each local school district shall adopt a policy to ensure that students will be screened in the spring of kindergarten and the fall of Grade 1.� The component of the screening must include:
������������� (i)� Phonological awareness and phonemic awareness;
������������� (ii)� Sound symbol recognition;
������������� (iii)� Alphabet knowledge;
������������� (iv)� Decoding skills;
������������� (v)� Encoding skills; and
������������� (vi)� Rapid naming.
��������� (b)� If a student fails the screener, the parent or legal guardian will be notified of the results of the screener.� Subsequent comprehensive dyslexia evaluations, as authorized under Section 37-173-16, may be administered by dyslexia diagnosticians and other licensed professionals, including:
������������� (i)� Psychologists, licensed under Chapter 31, Title 73, Mississippi Code of 1972;
������������� (ii)� Psychometrists, licensed by the Mississippi Department of Education, and in accordance with Chapter 31, Title 73, Section 27, Mississippi Code of 1972; or
������������� (iii)� Speech Language Pathologists, licensed under Chapter 38, Title 73, Mississippi Code of 1972.
��������� (c)� If a student fails
the screener, the school district, * * *
shall perform a
comprehensive dyslexia evaluation, such evaluation must be administered by a
dyslexia diagnostician or any of the licensed professionals identified
under paragraph (b) of this subsection, in addition to providing students
with the required Response to Intervention (RTI).
��������� (d)� If a parent or legal guardian of a student who fails the dyslexia screener exercises the option to have a subsequent independent evaluation performed, such evaluation shall be administered by a dyslexia diagnostician or any of the licensed professionals identified under paragraph (b) of this subsection, the cost of which shall be paid by the local school district of the student's enrollment and attendance, and the resulting diagnosis of the subsequent evaluation must be accepted by the school district for purposes of determining eligibility for placement within a dyslexia therapy program within the current school or to receive a Mississippi Dyslexia Therapy Scholarship for placement in a dyslexia program in another public school or nonpublic special purpose school.
���� (2)� The screening of all compulsory-school-age children enrolled in each local public school district for dyslexia required by subsection (1)(a) of this section shall in no manner nullify or defeat the requirements of the pilot programs adopted by the State Department of Education to test certain students enrolled or enrolling in public schools for dyslexia under Section 37-23-15.
���� SECTION 3.� This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2017.