STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2767--A 2017-2018 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 17, 2017 ___________ Introduced by Sens. GOLDEN, HOYLMAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Education -- recommitted to the Committee on Education in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to establishing a pilot program to provide early screening and intervention services for chil- dren with risk factors for dyslexia The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem- bly, do enact as follows: 1 Section 1. The education law is amended by adding a new section 319 to 2 read as follows: 3 § 319. Dyslexia screening; pilot program. 1. The commissioner is here- 4 by directed to establish a pilot program to provide early screening and 5 intervention services for children with risk factors for dyslexia, 6 including low phonemic awareness. The commissioner shall select three 7 school districts to participate in the pilot program, one of which shall 8 be located in an urban setting, one of which shall be located in a 9 suburban setting, and one of which shall be located in a rural setting. 10 Any school district selected to participate in the pilot program may 11 establish a partnership with a regional library or library system for 12 purposes of the pilot program. To be considered for the pilot program, a 13 school district shall submit a proposal to the commissioner which: 14 (a) identifies a method of screening children for low phonemic aware- 15 ness and other risk factors for dyslexia; 16 (b) provides for the enrollment of children identified as having risk 17 factors for dyslexia in a reading program staffed by teachers trained in 18 multisensory structured language programs; and 19 (c) includes a methodology for evaluating the effects of the reading 20 program on the children's identified risk factors. EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD06023-02-8S. 2767--A 2 1 2. The goal of the pilot program shall be to demonstrate and evaluate 2 the effectiveness of early reading assistance programs for children with 3 risk factors for dyslexia and to evaluate whether those programs can 4 reduce future special education costs. 5 3. The commissioner shall establish guidelines and procedures for the 6 pilot program. The commissioner shall consult with the international 7 dyslexia association or any other nationally recognized organization 8 that specializes in multisensory structured language programs for the 9 treatment of dyslexia in establishing and operating the pilot program. 10 4. (a) Under the pilot program, each participating school district, 11 through early childhood reading instruction and reading assistance 12 programs, shall: 13 (i) screen children six years of age or younger for indications of 14 dyslexia; 15 (ii) provide appropriate reading intervention services for those chil- 16 dren suspected of having dyslexia; and 17 (iii) administer assessments, approved by the commissioner, to ascer- 18 tain whether the intervention services improve those students' reading 19 and learning. 20 (b) When a child is suspected of having dyslexia, the district shall 21 notify the child's parent or guardian of that fact and that the child, 22 as part of the pilot program, is eligible to receive reading inter- 23 vention services to measure the effectiveness of early reading assist- 24 ance programs. The district shall require the parent or guardian to 25 indicate in writing that the parent or guardian voluntarily and knowing- 26 ly consents to the child's participation in the pilot program for the 27 provision of reading intervention services. Each district shall provide 28 to the parents of children suspected of having dyslexia information 29 about the learning disability, recommended multisensory treatments, and 30 possible services under this pilot program or this chapter. 31 (c) Each participating school district shall report annually to the 32 commissioner data about the operation and results of the pilot program, 33 as required by the commissioner in the manner prescribed by the commis- 34 sioner. 35 5. For the purposes of this section, "dyslexia" means a specific 36 learning disorder that is neurological in origin and that is character- 37 ized by unexpected difficulties with accurate or fluent word recognition 38 and by poor spelling and decoding abilities not consistent with the 39 person's intelligence, motivation, and sensory capabilities, which 40 difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological compo- 41 nent of language. 42 6. The pilot program shall operate for three full school years, begin- 43 ning with the next succeeding school year that begins at least three 44 months after the effective date of this section. 45 § 2. The commissioner of education shall apply for private and other 46 nonstate funds, and shall use available state funds appropriated to the 47 department of education for the pilot program established pursuant to 48 section one of this act. 49 § 3. The commissioner of education shall submit a report to the gover- 50 nor and the legislature no later than the thirty-first day of December 51 of the third school year in which the pilot program is operating 52 containing the commissioner's evaluation of the results of the pilot 53 program and legislative recommendations whether to continue, expand, or 54 make changes to the pilot program. 55 § 4. This act shall take effect immediately.