PRIOR PRINTER'S NOS. 1924, 2210
PRINTER'S NO. 2988
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
INTRODUCED BY NEILSON, MICCARELLI, PAYNE, FLYNN, MILLARD, O'NEILL, KOTIK, GIBBONS, DeLUCA, THOMAS, CALTAGIRONE, NEUMAN, J. HARRIS, ROEBUCK, BIZZARRO, SWANGER, MCNEILL, BISHOP, PICKETT, ROZZI, DAVIS, COHEN, V. BROWN, CLAY, MURT, O'BRIEN, MIRABITO, YOUNGBLOOD, FREEMAN, GINGRICH, FARINA, MICOZZIE, DENLINGER, QUINN, MASSER, BRIGGS, BROWNLEE, HARHAI, P. DALEY, K. BOYLE, GRELL, MUNDY, MIRANDA, B. BOYLE, McGEEHAN, KIM, SNYDER, MULLERY, KAVULICH, M. DALEY, PAINTER, PARKER, W. KELLER, DAVIDSON, SABATINA, HAGGERTY, CRUZ, SIMS, DiGIROLAMO, HARKINS, MCCARTER, TAYLOR, MILNE, PETRI, FRANKEL, DEAN, PASHINSKI, KORTZ, SANTARSIERO, MATZIE, HEFFLEY, SAINATO, READSHAW, WATERS, D. EVANS AND SCHREIBER, JUNE 4, 2013
SENATOR FOLMER, EDUCATION, IN SENATE, AS AMENDED, FEBRUARY 4, 2014
1Amending the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), entitled "An
2act relating to the public school system, including certain
3provisions applicable as well to private and parochial
4schools; amending, revising, consolidating and changing the
5laws relating thereto," providing for Dyslexia Screening <-and
6Early Literacy Intervention Pilot Program.
13DYSLEXIA SCREENING PILOT PROGRAM
1Section 1701-C. Short title of article.
4Section 1702-C. Definitions.
10"Dyslexia." A specific learning disorder that is
11neurological in origin and that is characterized by unexpected
12difficulties with accurate or fluent word recognition and by
13poor spelling and decoding abilities not consistent with the
14person's intelligence, motivation and sensory capabilities,
15which difficulties typically result from a deficit in the
16phonological component of language. Other difficulties may
17include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading
18experience that can impede the growth of vocabulary and
22"Secretary." The Secretary of Education of the Commonwealth.
23Section 1703-C. Establishment.
24(a) Pilot program.--To the extent funding is available, the
25department shall establish a Dyslexia Screening Pilot Program to
26provide evidence-based early screening and evidence-based
27intervention services for children with risk factors for
28dyslexia, such as low phonemic awareness.
1be considered for the pilot program, a school district shall
2submit a proposal to the department that demonstrates that the
3school district has funding available for the program and that
4identifies an evidence-based method of screening children for
5low phonemic awareness and other evidence-based risk factors for
6dyslexia, provides for the enrollment of children identified as
7having evidence-based risk factors for dyslexia in a reading
8program staffed by teachers trained in evidence-based
9intervention programs, for example, multisensory structured
10language programs, and includes a methodology for evaluating the
11effects of the reading program on the children's identified risk
13(c) Program operation.--To the extent funding is available,
14the pilot program shall operate for three full school years,
15beginning with the school year that begins at least six months
16after the effective date of this article.
17(d) Evaluation.--The goal of the pilot program shall be to
18evaluate the effectiveness of evidence-based early reading
19assistance programs for children with risk factors for dyslexia
20and to evaluate whether those programs can reduce future special
22Section 1704-C. Departmental responsibilities.
26(b) Consultation.--The department shall consult with the
27International Dyslexia Association, or any other nationally
28recognized organization that specializes in and has expertise in
29the scientific basis of dyslexia and its treatments, in
30establishing and operating the pilot program.
1(c) Report.--Not later than December 31 of the third school
2year in which the pilot program is operating, the secretary
3shall submit a report to the General Assembly containing the
4secretary's evaluation of the pilot program and legislative
5recommendations whether to continue, expand or make changes to
6the pilot program.
11Section 1705-C. School district responsibilities.
12(a) Responsibilities.--Under the pilot program, each
13participating school district, through early childhood reading
14instruction and reading assistance programs, shall screen
15children upon school entry in kindergarten through second grade
16for indications of dyslexia, provide appropriate evidence-based
17reading intervention services for those children suspected of
18having dyslexia and administer assessments, approved by the
19department, to ascertain whether the intervention services
20improve those students' reading and learning.
21(b) Notification.--When a child is suspected of having
22dyslexia, the participating school district shall notify the
23child's parent or guardian that the child, as part of the pilot
24program, is eligible to receive reading intervention services to
25measure the effectiveness of early reading assistance programs.
26The participating school district shall require the parent or
27guardian to indicate in writing that the parent or guardian
28voluntarily and knowingly consents to the child's participation
29in the pilot program. Each participating school district shall
30provide to the parents of children suspected of having dyslexia
8DYSLEXIA AND EARLY LITERACY INTERVENTION PILOT PROGRAM
9Section 1701-C. Short title of article.
12Section 1702-C. Definitions.
18"Dyslexia." A condition that is characterized by difficulty
19with accurate or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling
20and decoding abilities, which characteristics typically result
21from a deficit in one or more processes related to the
22phonological component of language, that is often unexpected in
23relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of
24effective classroom instruction and that may result in problems
25in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that may
26impede the growth of vocabulary and background knowledge. The
27term shall apply only for purposes of the pilot program.
1only for purposes of the pilot program.
4Section 1703-C. Establishment.
5(a) Pilot program.--The department shall establish a
6Dyslexia and Early Literacy Intervention Pilot Program to
7provide evidence-based early screening and multitier support
8systems, using evidence-based intervention services for students
9with potential risk factors for early reading deficiencies and
10dyslexia, such as low phonemic awareness, low letter and symbol
11naming and inability to remember sequences.
25(i) evidence-based core reading program;
28(iii) evidence-based intervention programs; and
1Section 1704-C. Department responsibilities.
5(b) Consultation.--The department shall consult with the
6International Dyslexia Association, or any other recognized
7organization that specializes in and has expertise with the
8scientific basis of dyslexia and its intervention, in
9establishing, operating and evaluating the pilot program.
10(c) Guidelines and procedures.--No later than three months
11after the effective date of this article, the department shall
12establish guidelines and procedures for the pilot program that
17(2) An evidence-based screening for low phonemic
18awareness and other evidence-based risk factors for early
19reading deficiencies and dyslexia. The screening shall be
20given to all kindergarten students enrolled in the school
21district three times per school year. The first screening
22shall be at the beginning of the school year, the second
23screening during the middle of the school year and the third
24screening in the final quarter of the school year.
25(3) Intervention measures, including multisensory
26structured language programs for students scoring below the
27benchmark that provide timely targeted instruction and
28strategic reteaching and intensive intervention in identified
30(4) Diagnostic assessments for students scoring below
1the benchmark that are nationally standardized, norm-
2referenced screening assessments of phonological awareness,
3alphabetic knowledge, concept of word and grapheme phoneme
4correspondence. The screening shall be demonstrated to have
5predictive validity and classification accuracy.
6Section 1705-C. School district responsibilities.
8(1) When a student is suspected of having an early
9reading deficiency or dyslexia, the participating school
10district shall notify the student's parent or guardian that
11the student, as part of the pilot program, is eligible to
12receive reading intervention services to measure the
13effectiveness of early reading assistance programs. The
14participating school district shall require the parent or
15guardian to indicate in writing that the parent or guardian
16voluntarily and knowingly consents to the student's continued
17participation in the pilot program. Each participating school
18district shall provide to the parent or guardian of the
19student suspected of having an early reading deficiency or
20dyslexia, information about early reading deficiencies and
21dyslexia and recommended evidence-based resources and
23(2) Participation in the pilot program, screening or
24intervention assistance does not preclude a parent or
25guardian from requesting an evaluation for special education
26at any time, including prior to or during the course of early
3(2) The department shall contract with a nationally
4recognized educational evaluation institution or organization
5to provide an evaluation of the pilot program to review the
6effectiveness of evidence-based early reading assistance
7programs for students with risk factors for early reading
8deficiencies and dyslexia and to determine if the programs
9reduce special education costs. The evaluation shall be
10published on the department's publicly accessible Internet
12Section 2. This act shall take effect immediately.