“Screening Requirements for Dyslexia and Other Reading Disabilities”
NJEA supports S-2442 (Van Drew, Ruiz, and Allen) / A-3605 (Albano, Dancer, Milam, Diegnan, Jasey). This legislation would complete a package of bills designed to improve the method for diagnosing students with dyslexia and other reading disabilities.
S-2442 / A-3605 would require the Commissioner of Education to provide information to local boards of education about screening instruments available to identify students in kindergarten through second grade who exhibit any potential indictors of dyslexia and other reading disabilities. The bill would require that assessments be completed no later than the end of the first semester of the second grade. If a student is diagnosed with dyslexia and other reading disabilities, the board of education is then required to provide the proper intervention strategies and intense instruction.
S-2442 / A-3605 also includes instruction to ensure that any newly-enrolled student, up to sixth grade, who enters without a record of having been screened for dyslexia or other reading disabilities is screened within 90 days.
In addition to S-2442 / A-3605, NJEA also supported bills signed into law in August that deal with dyslexia and other reading disabilities:
- S-2440 and S-2441 were combined to require the Department of Education to provide professional development opportunities related to reading disabilities, including dyslexia, to a variety of school district personnel for no less than 2 hours per year.
- S-2439 / A-3608 requires that the Department of Education incorporate the International Dyslexia Association’s definition of dyslexia into regulation.
- SR91 / AR129 is a resolution that urges the State Board of Education to develop an endorsement to the instructional certificate for teachers of students with reading disabilities, including dyslexia, and to establish eligibility and training requirements for the endorsement.
NJEA understands that early identification and intervention of potential reading disabilities is critical for a student’s success. That is why we worked with the sponsors of this bill, as well as representatives from Principals and Supervisors Association and the School Boards Association, to create language that would provide valuable and relevant solutions for students who would benefit from this legislation.
NJEA urges you to support S-2442 / A-3605.