Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Legislation to Increase Schools’ Options for Dyslexic Students Passes Ohio House

COLUMBUS—State Representative Andy Brenner (R-Delaware) has announced that the Ohio House of Representatives passed House Bill 96, which specifies dyslexia as a specific learning disability and will establish a pilot project to provide early screening and intervention services for children with dyslexia.
House Bill 96 compels the superintendent of public instruction to administer the pilot project through voluntary partnerships among school districts and regional public libraries. The state superintendent will evaluate the project and report results to the General Assembly. Additionally, the bill specifies in state law that dyslexia is a learning disability for which a child may receive special education services.
“Dyslexia is a very unique handicap because those with it are hard to identify at a young age,” Brenner said. “However, for the child, the school and our community, there are enormous costs associated with not identifying dyslexia early. This project furthers the mission of our schools to provide each individual child the education they need and implements an extraordinary cost-preventive measure.”
During the previous General Assembly, this measure was sponsored by Speaker of the House William G. Batchelder in an effort to more effectively educate children with dyslexia and raise awareness about the disorder. “I’m pleased to see this legislation pass with strong bipartisan support, because it will positively affect these individuals with dyslexia and their families,” he said.
According to the nonpartisan Legislative Service Commission, any costs incurred through the enactment of this legislation would be voluntarily acquired by school districts and regional libraries that choose to participate in the pilot project. These costs may be offset by funding provided by the Ohio Department of Education and by any private or non-state funds that the ODE is able to obtain to support the project.
House Bill 96 passed by a vote of 93-1 and will now move to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.