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A07101 Summary:

COSPNSRCunningham, McDonald, Seawright, Jensen, Ardila, McMahon, Dinowitz, Weprin
Add §926, Ed L
Establishes the "New York individuals with dyslexia education act"; implements a plan to identify and support students with characteristics of dyslexia; requires annual screening in grades K-5; directs intervention and notification; directs education department to develop a handbook providing guidance to parents and teachers.
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A07101 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2023-2024 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                      May 10, 2023
          ARDILA,  McMAHON,  DINOWITZ -- read once and referred to the Committee
          on Education -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered  reprinted
          as amended and recommitted to said committee
        AN  ACT to amend the education law, in relation to establishing the "New
          York individuals with dyslexia education act" and implementing a  plan
          to identify and support students with characteristics of dyslexia
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. This act shall be known as the "New York  individuals  with
     2  dyslexia education act".
     3    §  2. The education law is amended by adding a new section 926 to read
     4  as follows:
     5    § 926. Dyslexia education act. 1. As used in this section:  a. "Dysle-
     6  xia" means a specific learning disability  that  is  neurobiological  in
     7  origin.  Dyslexia  is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or
     8  fluent word recognition and by poor  spelling  and  decoding  abilities.
     9  These  difficulties  typically result from a deficit in the phonological
    10  component of language that is often  unexpected  in  relation  to  other
    11  cognitive  abilities  and  the provision of effective classroom instruc-
    12  tion. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading  comprehen-
    13  sion and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary
    14  and  background  knowledge.   For the purposes of this section, dyslexia
    15  shall also include dysgraphia, a neurological and learning difference in
    16  which someone has difficulty writing for their age level.
    17    b. "Dyslexia screening" means a process, as determined by  the  school
    18  district, for gathering additional information to determine if the char-
    19  acteristics of dyslexia are present.
    20    c.  "Multi-tiered  system  of  support  (MTSS)"  means a framework for
    21  supporting and increasing academic,  behavioral,  and  social  emotional
    22  outcomes for all students.
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 7101--A                          2
     1    d. "Universal screener" means an assessment that is administered three
     2  times  per  year  (beginning,  middle,  and  end) to identify or predict
     3  students who may be at risk for poor reading outcomes and  is  typically
     4  brief and conducted with all students at a particular grade level.
     5    e.  "Structured literacy" means an evidence-based approach to teaching
     6  oral and written language aligned to the science of reading. It is based
     7  on the science of how children learn to read  and  is  characterized  by
     8  explicit, systematic, cumulative, and diagnostic instruction in phonolo-
     9  gy,  sound-symbol association, syllable instruction, morphology, syntax,
    10  and semantics.
    11    f. "Science of reading" means the large body of evidence that  informs
    12  how  proficient  reading  and writing develop; why some have difficulty;
    13  and how we can most effectively assess and teach and, therefore, improve
    14  student outcomes through prevention  of  and  intervention  for  reading
    15  difficulties.
    16    g. "Dyslexia-specific intervention" means evidenced-based, specialized
    17  reading,  writing,  and  spelling  instruction  that  is multisensory in
    18  nature  and  equips  students  to  simultaneously  use  multiple  senses
    19  (vision,  hearing,  touch, and movement). Dyslexia-specific intervention
    20  employs direct instruction of systematic  and  cumulative  content.  The
    21  sequence  shall  begin  with  the  easiest  and  most basic elements and
    22  progress methodically to more difficult material. Each step  shall  also
    23  be  based  on  those  already  learned. Concepts shall be systematically
    24  reviewed to strengthen memory. Components  of  dyslexia-specific  inter-
    25  vention include instruction targeting phonological awareness, sound-sym-
    26  bol  association, syllable structure, morphology, syntax, and semantics.
    27  Dyslexia-specific intervention does not include the three-cueing systems
    28  model of instruction.
    29    h. "Dyslexia interventionist" means  the  teacher  or  individual  who
    30  provides  dyslexia-specific  intervention.  The dyslexia interventionist
    31  shall have successfully completed a  certification  training  course  or
    32  shall  have  completed training in the appropriate implementation of the
    33  evidence-based, dyslexia-specific intervention being provided, including
    34  but not limited to an Orton-Gillingham based approach or another  multi-
    35  sensory  structured  literacy  approach  accredited by the International
    36  Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC).
    37    i. "Dyslexia therapist" or "dyslexia specialist"  means  the  educator
    38  who  is  enrolled in or has successfully completed a training program in
    39  an Orton-Gillingham based approach or another  multi-sensory  structured
    40  literacy  approach  accredited  by the International Multisensory Struc-
    41  tured Language Education Council (IMSLEC).
    42    2. Each school district shall adopt a policy to require  screening  of
    43  students in grades kindergarten through fifth grade for the risk factors
    44  of  dyslexia  using  a dyslexia screener approved by the department. The
    45  dyslexia screening shall be administered annually during the  spring  of
    46  kindergarten  and  at  the  beginning of first through fifth grades. The
    47  screening of students using an approved dyslexia screener must  include,
    48  as developmentally appropriate, all of the following:
    49    a. phonological and phonemic awareness;
    50    b. sound-symbol recognition;
    51    c. alphabet knowledge;
    52    d. decoding skills;
    53    e. rapid naming skills;
    54    f. encoding skills;
    55    g. oral reading fluency; and
    56    h. has proven psychometrics.

        A. 7101--A                          3
     1    3.  a.  If  the  dyslexia  screening indicates that a student has risk
     2  factors for dyslexia or the characteristics of dyslexia the school  must
     3  use  a  multi-tiered  system  of support (MTSS) framework to address the
     4  needs of the student.
     5    b. If a student's performance on a dyslexia screening indicates a need
     6  for  dyslexia intervention services, the school district must do both of
     7  the following:
     8    (i) Notify the student's parent or guardian  of  the  results  of  all
     9  screenings; and
    10    (ii)  Provide  the  student's  parent or guardian with information and
    11  resource material that include all of the following:
    12    (1) the characteristics of dyslexia;
    13    (2) the appropriate classroom  interventions  and  accommodations  for
    14  students with dyslexia; and
    15    (3)  a  statement  that  the  parent or guardian may elect to have the
    16  student receive an educational evaluation by the school.
    17    c. If a student's parent or  guardian  presents  documentation  of  an
    18  existing  diagnosis  of  dyslexia,  then  the student may be exempt from
    19  screening; however, the school must use a multi-tiered system of support
    20  (MTSS) framework to address the needs of the student.
    21    d. If a student has not been identified as at risk  for  poor  reading
    22  outcomes according to the results on the universal screener administered
    23  by  each  school  district  or  scores  at a level that is determined as
    24  proficient on the English Language Arts (ELA) exam administered  by  New
    25  York  state, then a student's parent or guardian may opt out of dyslexia
    26  screening for such student beginning in fourth  grade  by  submitting  a
    27  request  to the student's school in a form that shall be provided by the
    28  district.
    29    4. a. Each  school  district  shall  use  evidence-based  multi-tiered
    30  systems  of  support to provide daily dyslexia-specific interventions to
    31  students in kindergarten through fifth grade who display indications of,
    32  or areas of weakness associated with, dyslexia.
    33    b. If a student's dyslexia screening indicates that  the  student  has
    34  characteristics of dyslexia, the dyslexia intervention services provided
    35  to the student must utilize an Orton-Gillingham based approach or anoth-
    36  er multi-sensory structured literacy approach.
    37    c. Each student identified as having characteristics of dyslexia shall
    38  receive  a  minimum  of  forty-five  minutes of dyslexia-specific inter-
    39  vention services per school day. The  dyslexia-specific  reading  inter-
    40  vention  program  shall  be  provided in a small group setting following
    41  publisher guidelines regarding group size, in addition to  core  reading
    42  instruction  that  is  provided to all students in the general education
    43  classroom. The program shall be aligned to the content  and  performance
    44  standards  and  evidence-based  interventions  to  meet the needs of all
    45  students.
    46    d. The dyslexia-specific intervention services shall be provided by  a
    47  dyslexia  interventionist, therapist, or specialist, specifically target
    48  students' areas of weakness, and:
    49    (i) provide explicit, direct, systematic, sequential,  and  cumulative
    50  instruction  that adheres to a logical plan about the alphabetic princi-
    51  ple and is designed to accommodate the needs of each individual  student
    52  without presuming prior skills or knowledge;
    53    (ii)  implement  evidence-based practices that have been proven effec-
    54  tive in the treatment of dyslexia;
    55    (iii) engage the student  in  multi-sensory  language  learning  tech-
    56  niques;

        A. 7101--A                          4
     1    (iv)  include  phonemic  awareness activities to enable the student to
     2  detect, segment, blend, and manipulate sounds in the spoken language;
     3    (v)  provide  graphophonemic  knowledge  for teaching the letter sound
     4  plan of the English language;
     5    (vi) teach the structure and patterns of the English language, includ-
     6  ing linguistic instruction in morphology, semantics, syntax,  and  prag-
     7  matics,  that  is  directed  toward  proficiency  and  fluency  with the
     8  patterns of language so that words and sentences  are  the  carriers  of
     9  meaning;
    10    (vii)  develop strategies that advance the student's ability in decod-
    11  ing, encoding, word recognition, fluency, and comprehension; and
    12    (viii) provide meaning-based instruction directed at purposeful  read-
    13  ing and writing, with an emphasis on comprehension and composition.
    14    e.  Each  school  district shall hire one educator to provide dyslexia
    15  intervention services per every one hundred general  education  students
    16  in grades kindergarten through grade five.
    17    f.  Parents  or  guardians shall be notified of all screening adminis-
    18  trations and outcomes. For a student who demonstrates characteristics of
    19  dyslexia, each school district shall notify  the  student's  parents  or
    20  guardian  of the identified indicators and areas of weakness, as well as
    21  the plan for using a multi-tiered system of support  (MTSS)  to  provide
    22  supports and interventions. The initial notice shall also include infor-
    23  mation relating to dyslexia and resources for parental support developed
    24  by  the  department. The school district must provide monthly updates to
    25  the student's parents or guardian of the student's progress.
    26    g. The school district shall recommend a referral  for  evaluation  to
    27  the  student's  parents  or  guardian  if,  after one year of documented
    28  intervention, minimal progress has been made.
    29    5. a. The department shall develop and maintain a handbook to be  made
    30  available on its website that provides guidance for students, parents or
    31  guardians,  and teachers about dyslexia. The handbook shall include, but
    32  is not limited to:
    33    (i) guidelines for teachers and parents or caregivers on how to  iden-
    34  tify signs of dyslexia;
    35    (ii)  a  description of educational strategies that have been shown to
    36  improve the academic performance of students with dyslexia;
    37    (iii) a description of resources and services  available  to  students
    38  with  dyslexia,  parents  or  guardians  of  students with dyslexia, and
    39  teachers;
    40    (iv) guidelines on the administration  of  a  universal  screener  and
    41  dyslexia screening, the interpretation of data from these screeners, and
    42  the  resulting  appropriate  instruction within a multi-tiered system of
    43  support (MTSS) framework; and
    44    (v) a plain language explanation of student's rights regarding  educa-
    45  tion mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA),
    46  the  Americans  with  Disabilities Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabili-
    47  tation Act of 1973 and an explanation of the rights of parents  to  seek
    48  recourse  with  an  independent  educational  evaluation or in a private
    49  educational setting should public schools not meet the  requirements  of
    50  the IDEA.
    51    b.  The department shall review the handbook at least once every three
    52  years to update the guidelines, educational strategies, or resources and
    53  services made available in the handbook.
    54    6. a.  Each  school  district  shall  provide  all  elementary  grades
    55  instructional personnel (i.e. teachers, administrators, reading coaches,
    56  speech  pathologists,  dyslexia  interventionists)  access to structured

        A. 7101--A                          5
     1  literacy training sufficient to meet the requirements  of  this  section
     2  but  no  less  than  fifty  hours of such training for teachers, reading
     3  coaches, and dyslexia interventionists and no less than  six  hours  for
     4  administrators and speech pathologists.
     5    b.  Each  school  district  shall provide structured literacy training
     6  facilitated by someone with extensive knowledge of dyslexia, such  as  a
     7  dyslexia  therapist  or specialist, to reading coaches, classroom teach-
     8  ers, and school administrators in the following:
     9    (i) effective methods of identifying characteristics of  dyslexia  and
    10  other related reading disorders;
    11    (ii)  incorporating  evidence-based  instructional techniques into the
    12  general education setting which are proven to improve  reading  perform-
    13  ance for all students; and
    14    (iii)  using predictive and other data to make instructional decisions
    15  based on individual student needs.
    16    c. The training requirements of this section shall help teachers inte-
    17  grate phonemic awareness; phonics, word  study,  and  spelling;  reading
    18  fluency;  vocabulary, including academic vocabulary; and text comprehen-
    19  sion strategies into an explicit, systematic, and sequential approach to
    20  reading instruction, including the Orton-Gillingham  approach  or  other
    21  multi-sensory structured literacy approach.
    22    7.  Postsecondary  institutions  offering teacher preparation programs
    23  for elementary and secondary regular  education  and  special  education
    24  shall include instruction on:
    25    a. the definition and characteristics of dyslexia;
    26    b. processes for identifying dyslexia;
    27    c.  evidence-based  interventions  and accommodations for dyslexia and
    28  related literacy and learning challenges; and
    29    d. core elements of a  response-to-intervention  framework  addressing
    30  reading, writing, mathematics, and behavior, including:
    31    (i) universal screening;
    32    (ii)  high-quality  instructional materials grounded in the science of
    33  reading;
    34    (iii) evidence-based interventions;
    35    (iv) progress monitoring of  the  effectiveness  of  interventions  on
    36  student performance; and
    37    (v) data-based decision-making procedures related to:
    38    (1) determining intervention effectiveness on student performance;
    39    (2)  determining  the  need  to continue, alter, or discontinue inter-
    40  ventions or conduct further evaluation of student needs; and
    41    (3) application and  implementation  of  response-to-intervention  and
    42  dyslexia instructional practices in the classroom setting.
    43    §  3.  This act shall take effect on the first of July next succeeding
    44  the date on which it shall have become a law.
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