Enrolled HB 64: Relating to the establishment of the Legislative Task Force on Reading Proficiency and Dyslexia.
00Enrolled HB 64 01 Relating to the establishment of the Legislative Task Force on Reading Proficiency and 02 Dyslexia. 03 _______________ 04 * Section 1. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section 05 to read: 06 LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS. The legislature finds that 07 (1) approximately 43,300 students in the state do not meet Alaska English 08 Language Arts standards as indicated by the Alaska Measures of Progress test, and reading 09 proficiency scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress for students in the 10 state were stagnant from 2003 through 2015; 11 (2) results of student assessments indicate that reading instruction and reading 12 proficiency for students in the state should be improved; 13 (3) dyslexia, the most common specific learning disability, affects between 14 three and 17 percent of the student population and accounts for approximately 80 percent of
01 all specific learning disabilities; 02 (4) the scientific consensus is that, when learning to read, typical and atypical 03 learners have overlapping instructional needs, including the need for highly knowledgeable 04 and skilled reading teachers to improve reading proficiency outcomes; 05 (5) parents and other caregivers are responsible for ensuring that their children 06 learn to read through the public school system or other means of instruction; and 07 (6) the residents of this state also hold the legislature, the governor, and the 08 state Board of Education and Early Development accountable for student reading proficiency 09 outcomes and for leading reforms of the state's public education system. 10 * Sec. 2. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to 11 read: 12 LEGISLATIVE TASK FORCE ON READING PROFICIENCY AND DYSLEXIA. 13 (a) The Legislative Task Force on Reading Proficiency and Dyslexia is established as a joint 14 task force of the Alaska State Legislature. 15 (b) The task force established under (a) of this section shall 16 (1) examine 17 (A) the effects of current state statutes and regulations on reading 18 proficiency outcomes; 19 (B) the effects of dyslexia on reading proficiency outcomes in the state 20 and in other jurisdictions; 21 (C) dyslexia education instructional practices and laws in other 22 jurisdictions; 23 (D) educational reforms related to reading that have been implemented 24 in the state and the reasons for the success or failure of those reforms at the local level; 25 (2) evaluate and make recommendations regarding 26 (A) reading instructional practices for all public school students in the 27 state; 28 (B) the diagnosis, treatment, and education of children affected by 29 dyslexia; 30 (C) methods to improve reading proficiency and reading instruction for 31 all public school students in the state;
01 (D) possible legislation or other policy recommendations to improve 02 reading proficiency outcomes; 03 (E) methods to mitigate the effects of dyslexia on reading proficiency, 04 including 05 (i) early screening, early identification, and early intervention 06 for students in preschool through grade three; 07 (ii) screening, identification, and intervention for students in 08 grades four through 12; 09 (iii) training all relevant educational staff in the use of 10 evidence-based screening and identification instruments; and 11 (3) identify evidence-based, multi-sensory, direct, explicit, structured, and 12 sequential approaches to instructing students affected by dyslexia. 13 (c) The task force shall, not later than March 29, 2019, submit a final report 14 summarizing the findings and recommendations of the task force to the governor, the state 15 Board of Education and Early Development, and the senate secretary and chief clerk of the 16 house of representatives and notify the legislature that the report is available. 17 (d) The task force consists of 12 members as follows: 18 (1) three members of the house of representatives appointed by the speaker of 19 the house of representatives, including at least one member of the minority organizational 20 caucus; 21 (2) three members of the senate appointed by the president of the senate, 22 including at least one member of the minority organizational caucus; and 23 (3) six members of the public to be appointed jointly by the speaker of the 24 house of representatives and the president of the senate as follows: 25 (A) one member who is an active or retired teacher in kindergarten 26 through grade three with significant experience teaching reading to students 27 developing typically and atypically in the state; 28 (B) one member representing the Association of Alaska School 29 Boards; 30 (C) one member representing either the Alaska Council of School 31 Administrators or the Alaska Association of Elementary School Principals who is
01 knowledgeable about reading instruction and dyslexia; 02 (D) one member representing a nonprofit organization with a mission 03 related to reading and education; 04 (E) one member who is a parent of a child with a reading disability; 05 and 06 (F) one member who is a student enrolled in good standing in a public 07 high school in the state who demonstrates leadership and has an interest in promoting 08 reading proficiency. 09 (e) The speaker of the house of representatives and the president of the senate shall 10 jointly appoint the chair of the task force from among the legislative members of the task 11 force. A majority of the task force constitutes a quorum. The task force meets at the call of the 12 chair and may meet telephonically. 13 (f) A vacancy on the task force shall be filled in the same manner as the original 14 selection or appointment. 15 (g) The task force may request data and other information from the Department of 16 Education and Early Development, school districts, and other state agencies. 17 (h) The staff of the legislator who chairs the task force shall provide administrative 18 and other support to the task force. 19 (i) Members of the task force serve without compensation and are not entitled to per 20 diem or travel expenses. 21 (j) The task force expires on June 30, 2019. 22 (k) In this section, 23 (1) "dyslexia" means a learning disability that is neurobiological in origin and 24 is characterized by difficulties with accurate or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling 25 and decoding abilities; 26 (2) "relevant educational staff" includes school psychologists, special 27 education teachers, other teachers, principals, and superintendents; 28 (3) "task force" means the Legislative Task Force on Reading Proficiency and 29 Dyslexia.