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30th Legislature(2017-2018)

Bill Text 30th Legislature


00 Enrolled 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.                                                                                                               
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