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Arizona Dyslexia Legislation  — Information & Updates


April 28, 2021

Call to Action…Easy as 1, 2, 3!

Two critical dyslexia bills and Appropriation Request
SB1403 – LITERACY; DYSLEXIA SCREENING
SB1572 – SCHOOLS; EARLY LITERACY

Contact your TWO State Representatives and ask them to support:

  1. SB1403 – Literacy; Dyslexia Screening with the Rep. Udall Floor Amendment
  2. SB1572 – Schools; Early Literacy with the Rep. Udall Floor Amendment
  3. $9.9 M Appropriation request to fully fund dyslexia screening, teacher training and Az Dept of Education staff.

At this time only contact your TWO AZ State Representatives (we have already passed the bills in the Arizona Senate and we have heard our appropriation request is already in their budget).  

If you do not know your State Representative or Legislative District CLICK HERE and enter your address in the yellow line to locate your state legislative district (1-30).  Once you have identified your legislative district or if you already know your legislative district CLICK HERE to find your two State Representatives along with their contact information.  Call or email your legislator and ask them to support both SB1403, SB1572, and the appropriation request.

SB1403 Includes the following provisions:

  • Gives schools till 2022 to have at least one teacher in K-3 trained in dyslexia (due to COVID).
  • Gives the Department of Education till 2022 to have the screening program in place (due to change below).
  • Changes the screening requirement for “nonsense word repetition” to “nonsense word FLUENCY”.
  • Require all new teachers to be trained in the SCIENCE OF READING INSTRUCTION.
  • Requires the State Board of Education (SBE) to establish a literacy endorsement for all certified k-5 teachers providing literacy instruction and requires a literacy instruction assessment demonstrating a teacher’s ability to:
    • effectively teach foundational reading skills, phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension;
    • implement reading instruction utilizing high-quality instructional materials; and
    • provide effective instruction and interventions for students with reading deficiencies, including students with characteristics of dyslexia.
  • Requires a certificate holder within three years after certification for elementary education or early childhood education, to complete at least 45 classroom hours or 3 college-level credit hours, or the equivalent, in the science of reading instruction, including systematic phonics instruction.
  • The Rep. Udall floor amendment will create an alternative path highly effective teacher to get an early literacy endorsement if they that can demonstrate they have the instructional knowledge and skills through classroom observations, a record of professional development and certification as well as student achievement data.

SB1572 Includes the following provisions:

Provisions listed above in SB1403 above plus the following:

  • Directs the SBE, beginning in the 2022-2023 school year if sufficient monies are appropriated, to adopt a statewide kindergarten entry evaluation tool administered to pupils in kindergarten programs within:
    • 45 calendar days after the start of each school year; or
    • 45 calendar days after a pupil enrolls.
  • Specifies the annual notification identifying a pupil’s reading deficiency is sent to parents within three weeks after identifying a reading deficiency and includes the frequency which the school district or charter school will provide timely updates and information on the pupil’s progress towards reading proficiency.
  • Requires the SBE to review the K-3 Reading Program and consider any changes to statute, policy or administration to improve student reading proficiency, and review the following:
    • the required information submitted by school districts and charter schools, for the K-3 reading plans, including the manner in which the plans are submitted to ADE and the frequency which school districts and charter schools submit the plans;
    • the collection and data use to inform instruction and policy;
    • the written parental notifications including the feasibility of parental notifications for pupils in grades 4 through 12; and
    • intervention and remedial strategies.

Appropriation Request – $9.9M

  • $4.3M for dyslexia related provisions in SB1403 – $2M for schools to implement screening and teacher training, $2M for a grant program to assist teachers who would like to take Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS) or the AZ Department of Education (ADE) Teaching Reading Effectively (TRE) programs and $280,000 for ADE to fund three full-time employees to oversee the screening and training.
  • $5.6M for early literacy provisions in SB1572 – $3.1M for the ADE to pay the expense of deploying literacy coaches to schools, $1.5M to ADE develop a statewide standard kindergarten entry evaluation tool, and $1M to ADE to provide assessment fee waivers to teachers who pass the fundamentals of reading assessment. 

Talking Points on SB1403, SB1572 and Appropriation Request

  • Many of the provisions in the bills are the result of the 2019 dyslexia study committee recommendations.  This bill and committee recommendations were included in the 2020 dyslexia bill that failed to pass the full legislature because of the COVID pandemic. It is critical for the screening programs to successfully work that we pass the bill this year.  
  • Implementing the requirement that new teachers receiving education pertaining to the Science of Reading have shown to improve reading scores – 
    • According to the “Teacher Prep Review: Program Performance in Early Reading Instruction,” released by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), teacher preparation programs are catching up to the scientific evidence on how the brain learns to read. The teacher preparation research group reports that in 2019, more than half of teacher training programs now teach the “Science of Reading,” compared to 35% just a few years ago, in 2013
    • Mississippi students have risen faster than anyone since 2013, particularly for fourth graders. In fourth-grade reading results, Mississippi boosted its ranking from forty-ninth in 2013 to twenty-ninth in 2019.  So how have they done it? Education commentators have pointed to several possible causes: roll-out of early literacy programs and professional development, focus on the “science of reading” and faithful implementation of Common Core standards.
  • Fund the requests so that schools can effectively (1) screen children for dyslexia; (2) fund teacher training so teachers do not have to come out of pocket to get the training or early literacy endorsement; and (3) give teachers to ability to expand their skills even more with the LETRS or TRE programs.   

General Dyslexia Talking Points:

  • 1 in 5 people has dyslexia or a reading-related disability (approximately 325,000 students in Arizona) according to the National Institutes of Health.
  • 95% of dyslexic students will read proficiently at grade level if they receive the right kind of instruction by 1st grade (National Institutes of Health). 
  • If dyslexia intervention is delayed until 4th grade it takes four times as long to improve the same skills by the same amount (Susan Hall – Straight Talk About Reading).
  • 44% of third-graders in Arizona are proficient or highly proficient, 56% are minimally or partially proficient in language arts (2018 AzMerit)…Dyslexia is the link that is being ignored.
  • 75% of students that are poor readers in 3rd grade will remain poor readers in 9th grade (Sally Shaywitz et all 1998).
  • Poor reading skills are the leading cause of High School dropouts (US Department of Education).
  • 80% of inmates in a Huntsville, Texas, State Prison were functionally illiterate, and 48% were dyslexic (University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston – 2000).
  • Dyslexia can be mild, moderate, severe, or profound, there is no connection to IQ.
  • Dyslexia is genetic.

When talking or emailing a legislator:

  • Always be respectful and non-threatening (you get more with honey)
  • If you live in their legislative district let them know.  An email from a resident that votes in their district has a bigger impact.
  • Tell your personal story – your child or your students are struggling.  Let them know why their yes vote is important.
  • If you have been trained in the Science of Reading share your story
  • Let them know they can contact you for more information.
  • Thank them for their time and support.

Questions – Contact Courtney LeVinus – courtney@azcapitolconsulting.com


March 30, 2021

Both SB 1403 and SB1572 passed the House Education Committee hearing on March 16th!

The Senators and their teams are actively working to fix language in the bills to help them move successfully through the next steps in the House. Please reach out to your State Representatives and ask them to support our teachers and dyslexic students!  Thank you!


March 10, 2021

Call to Action…Easy as 1, 2, 3!
Two critical dyslexia bills moving through the AZ Senate
SB1403 – LITERACY; DYSLEXIA SCREENING
SB1572 – SCHOOLS; EARLY LITERACY

(1) Contact the House Education Committee members and ask them to support both SB1403 and SB1572 in Committee on Tuesday, March 16th.  The hearing is scheduled to start at 2:00 pm (please note it will start after the House adjourns from the floor).

Daniel Hernandez, Jr. dhernandez@azleg.gov 602-926-4874
Joel John jjohn@azleg.gov 602-926-3276
Quang H. Nguyen qnguyen@azleg.gov 602-926-3258
Joanne Osborne josborne@azleg.gov 602-926-3181
Jennifer Pawlik jpawlik@azleg.gov 602-926-3193
Beverly Pingerelli – Committee Vice Chair bpingerelli@azleg.gov 602-926-3396
Bret M. Roberts broberts@azleg.gov 602-926-3158
Athena Salman asalman@azleg.gov  602-926-4858
Judy Schwiebert jschwiebert@azleg.gov 602-926-3390
Michelle Udall – Committee Chair mudall@azleg.gov 602-926-4856


(2) Register your support of the billsIf you have an existing ‘Request to Speak’ (RTS) account, please sign in indicating your support of SB1403 and SB1572.

    • Go to azleg.gov and click on the Request to Speak picture.
    • Click sign-in at the top right corner with your username and password.
    • Click the Request to Speak button (with the microphone picture).
    • Click New Request on the left-hand side.
    • Select Senate and in the search phrase area, type 1403.
    • Click the blue-button that says ‘add request’.
    • Next, indicate who you are representing, whether it be yourself or if you are authorized to represent an organization.
    • Click the thumbs up button where it asks your position on the bill.
    • Click yes or no where it asks if you would like to speak.
    • If you wish to speak then click YES REMOTELY
    • You may also type comments in support of the bill in the comment box.  
    • Click submit 
  • Repeat the process for SB1572
  • If you need additional assistance please refer to the RTS manual
  • Unfortunately, if you do not already have an RTS account you are not able to register to support SB1403 as the initial registration has to occur at the State Capitol at one of the kiosks located in the House and Senate buildings and both buildings are currently not open to the public.   

(3) Contact your TWO State Representatives and ask them to support both SB1403 and SB1572 (see bill provisions and talking points below).  At this time only contact your TWO AZ State Representatives (we have already passed the bills in the Arizona Senate).  As soon as the dyslexia appropriation bill is updated and moving as part of the budget we will send a separate call to action.  

  • If you do not know your State Representative or Legislative District CLICK HERE and enter your address in the yellow line to locate your state legislative district.  Once you have identified your legislative district or if you already know your legislative district CLICK HERE to find your two State Representatives along with their contact information.  Call or email your legislator and ask them to support both SB1403 and SB1572.  

 

SB1403 Includes the following provisions (with the proposed consensus Senate Floor amendments)::

  • Gives schools till 2022 to have at least one teacher in K-3 trained in dyslexia (due to COVID).
  • Gives the Department of Education till 2022 to have the screening program in place (due to change below).
  • Changes the screening requirement for “nonsense word repetition” to “nonsense word FLUENCY”.
  • Require all new teachers to be trained in the SCIENCE OF READING INSTRUCTION.
  • Requires the State Board of Education (SBE) to establish a literacy endorsement for all certified k-5 teachers providing literacy instruction and requires a literacy instruction assessment demonstrating a teacher’s ability to:
    • effectively teach foundational reading skills, phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension;
    • implement reading instruction utilizing high-quality instructional materials; and
    •  provide effective instruction and interventions for students with reading deficiencies, including students with characteristics of dyslexia.
  • Requires a certificate holder within three years after certification for elementary education or early childhood education, to complete at least 45 classroom hours or 3 college-level credit hours, or the equivalent, in science of reading instruction, including systematic phonics instruction.

SB1572 Includes the following provisions (with the proposed consensus Senate Floor amendments):

Provisions listed above in SB1403 above plus the following:

  • Directs the SBE, beginning in the 2022-2023 school year if sufficient monies are appropriated, to adopt a statewide kindergarten entry evaluation tool administered to pupils in kindergarten programs within:
    • 45 calendar days after the start of each school year; or
    • 45 calendar days after a pupil enrolls.
  • Specifies the annual notification identifying a pupil’s reading deficiency is sent to parents within three weeks after identifying a reading deficiency and includes the frequency which the school district or charter school will provide timely updates and information on the pupil’s progress towards reading proficiency.
  • Requires the SBE to review the K-3 Reading Program and consider any changes to statute, policy or administration to improve student reading proficiency, and review the following:
    • the required information submitted by school districts and charter schools, for the K-3 reading plans, including the manner in which the plans are submitted to ADE and the frequency which school districts and charter schools submit the plans;
    • the collection and data use to inform instruction and policy;
    • the written parental notifications including the feasibility of parental notifications for pupils in grades 4 through 12; and
    • intervention and remedial strategies.

Talking Points on SB1403 and SB1572

  • Most of the provision in the bills are the result of the 2019 dyslexia study committee recommendations.  This bill and committee amended were included in the 2020 dyslexia bill that failed to pass the full legislature because of the COVID pandemic.  
  • Implementing the requirement that new teachers receiving education pertaining to the Science of Reading have shown to improve reading scores – 
    • According to the “Teacher Prep Review: Program Performance in Early Reading Instruction,” released by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), teacher preparation programs are catching up to the scientific evidence on how the brain learns to read. The teacher preparation research group reports that in 2019, more than half of teacher training programs now teach the “Science of Reading,” compared to 35% just a few years ago, in 2013
    • Mississippi students have risen faster than anyone since 2013, particularly for fourth graders. In fourth-grade reading results, Mississippi boosted its ranking from forty-ninth in 2013 to twenty-ninth in 2019.  So how have they done it? Education commentators have pointed to several possible causes: roll-out of early literacy programs and professional development, focus on the “science of reading” and faithful implementation of Common Core standards.

General Dyslexia Talking Points:

  • 1 in 5 people has dyslexia or a reading-related disability (approximately 325,000 students in Arizona) according to the National Institutes of Health.
  • 95% of dyslexic students will read proficiently at grade level if they receive the right kind of instruction by 1st grade (National Institutes of Health). 
  • If dyslexia intervention is delayed until 4th grade it takes four times as long to improve the same skills by the same amount (Susan Hall – Straight Talk About Reading).
  • 44% of third-graders in Arizona are proficient or highly proficient, 56% are minimally or partially proficient in language arts (2018 AzMerit)…Dyslexia is the link that is being ignored.
  • 75% of students that are poor readers in 3rd grade will remain poor readers in 9th grade (Sally Shaywitz et all 1998).
  • Poor reading skills are the leading cause of High School dropouts (US Department of Education).
  • 80% of inmates in a Huntsville, Texas, State Prison were functionally illiterate, and 48% were dyslexic (University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston – 2000).
  • Dyslexia can be mild, moderate, severe, or profound, there is no connection to IQ.
  • Dyslexia is genetic.

When talking or emailing a legislator:

  • Always be respectful and non-threatening (you get more with honey)
  • If you live in their legislative district let them know.  An email from a resident that votes in their district has a bigger impact.
  • Tell your personal story – your child or your students are struggling.  Let them know why their yes vote is important.
  • If you have been trained in the Science of Reading share your story
  • Let them know they can contact you for more information.
  • Thank them for their time and support.

Questions – Contact Courtney LeVinus – courtney@azcapitolconsulting.com


February 22, 2021

Two critical dyslexia bills moving through the AZ Senate
SB1403 – LITERACY; DYSLEXIA SCREENING
SB1572 – SCHOOLS; EARLY LITERACY

SB1403 is in Senate Caucus today and may go to the floor for an amendment and a full Senate vote this week.  The bill will be amended on the floor to include the science of reading requirements from SB1572.

SB1572 will be amended to include our bill provisions.  SB1572 will go to the Senate Rules Committee today and also could go to the floor for an amendment and full vote this week or next.

The appropriation bills at this time are dead but we are working on drafting language that can be included in the budget.  Budget negotiations should be starting within the next few weeks.

♦Call to Action♦

Contact your State Senator and ask them to support both SB1403 and SB1572 (see bill provisions and talking points below).  Note we will contract State Representatives once the bill passes the Senate – only contact your AZ State Senator for now.  As soon as the dyslexia appropriation bills are updated and moving as part of the budget we will send a separate call to action.  

If you do not know your State Senator or Legislative District CLICK HERE and enter your address in the yellow line to locate your state legislative district.  Once you have identified your legislative district or if you already know your legislative district CLICK HERE to find your State Senator along with their contact information.  Call or email your legislator and ask them to support both SB1403 and SB1572. 

 

Register your support of the billsIf you have an existing ‘Request to Speak’ (RTS) account, please sign in indicating your support of SB1403 and SB1572.

    • Go to azleg.gov and click on the Request to Speak picture.
    • Click sign-in at the top right corner with your username and password.
    • Click the Request to Speak button (with the microphone picture).
    • Click New Request on the left-hand side.
    • Select Senate and in the search phrase area, type 1403.
    • Click the blue-button that says ‘add request’.
    • Next, indicate who you are representing, whether it be yourself or if you are authorized to represent an organization.
    • Click the thumbs up button where it asks your position on the bill.
    • Click yes or no where it asks if you would like to speak.
    • If you wish to speak then click YES REMOTELY
    • You may also type comments in support of the bill in the comment box.  
    • Click submit 
  • Repeat the process for SB1572
  • If you need additional assistance please refer to the RTS manual
  • Unfortunately, if you do not already have an RTS account you are not able to register to support SB1403 as the initial registration has to occur at the State Capitol at one of the kiosks located in the House and Senate buildings and both buildings are currently not open to the public.   

SB1403 Includes the following provisions (with the proposed consensus Senate Floor amendments)::

  • Gives schools till 2022 to have at least one teacher in K-3 trained in dyslexia (due to COVID).
  • Gives the Department of Education till 2022 to have the screening program in place (due to change below).
  • Changes the screening requirement for Nonsense word repetition to Nonsense word FLUENCY.
  • The Boyer Committee Amendment will include the following:
    • Require all new teachers to be trained in the SCIENCE OF READING INSTRUCTION.
    • Requires the State Board of Education (SBE) to establish a literacy endorsement for all certified k-5 teachers providing literacy instruction and requires a literacy instruction assessment demonstrating a teacher’s ability to:
      • effectively teach foundational reading skills, phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension;
      • implement reading instruction utilizing high-quality instructional materials; and
      •  provide effective instruction and interventions for students with reading deficiencies, including students with characteristics of dyslexia.
  • Requires a certificate holder within three years after certification for elementary education or early childhood education, to complete at least 45 classroom hours or 3 college-level credit hours, or the equivalent, in the science of reading instruction, including systematic phonics instruction.

Talking Points on SB1403

  • The proposed changes are the result of the 2019 dyslexia study committee recommendations.  This bill and committee amended were included in the 2020 dyslexia bill that failed to pass the full legislature because of the COVID pandemic.  
  • Implementing the requirement that new teachers receiving education pertaining to the Science of Reading have shown to improve reading scores – 
    • According to the “Teacher Prep Review: Program Performance in Early Reading Instruction,” released by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), teacher preparation programs are catching up to the scientific evidence on how the brain learns to read. The teacher preparation research group reports that in 2019, more than half of teacher training programs now teach the “Science of Reading,” compared to 35% just a few years ago, in 2013
    • Mississippi students have risen faster than anyone since 2013, particularly for fourth graders. In fourth-grade reading results, Mississippi boosted its ranking from forty-ninth in 2013 to twenty-ninth in 2019.  So how have they done it? Education commentators have pointed to several possible causes: roll-out of early literacy programs and professional development, focus on the “science of reading” and faithful implementation of Common Core standards.

SB1572 Includes the following provisions (with the proposed consensus Senate Floor amendments):

Provisions included in SB1403 above plus the following:

  • Directs the SBE, beginning in the 2022-2023 school year if sufficient monies are appropriated, to adopt a statewide kindergarten entry evaluation tool administered to pupils in kindergarten programs within:
    • 45 calendar days after the start of each school year; or
    • 45 calendar days after a pupil enrolls.
  • Specifies the annual notification identifying a pupil’s reading deficiency is sent to parents within three weeks after identifying a reading deficiency and includes the frequency which the school district or charter school will provide timely updates and information on the pupil’s progress towards reading proficiency.
  • Requires the SBE to review the K-3 Reading Program and consider any changes to statute, policy or administration to improve student reading proficiency, and review the following:
    • the required information submitted by school districts and charter schools, for the K-3 reading plans, including the manner in which the plans are submitted to ADE and the frequency which school districts and charter schools submit the plans;
    • the collection and data use to inform instruction and policy;
    • the written parental notifications including the feasibility of parental notifications for pupils in grades 4 through 12; and
    • intervention and remedial strategies.

General Dyslexia Talking Points:

  • 1 in 5 people have dyslexia or a reading-related disability (approximately 325,000 students in Arizona) according to the National Institutes of Health.
  • 95% of dyslexic students will read proficiently at grade level if they receive the right kind of instruction by 1st grade (National Institutes of Health). 
  • If dyslexia intervention is delayed until 4th grade it takes four times as long to improve the same skills by the same amount (Susan Hall – Straight Talk About Reading).
  • 44% of third-graders in Arizona are proficient or highly proficient, 56% are minimally or partially proficient in language arts (2018 AzMerit)…Dyslexia is the link that is being ignored.
  • 75% of students that are poor readers in 3rd grade will remain poor readers in 9th grade (Sally Shaywitz et all 1998).
  • Poor reading skills are the leading cause of High School dropouts (US Department of Education).
  • 80% of inmates in a Huntsville, Texas, State Prison were functionally illiterate, and 48% were dyslexic (University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston – 2000).
  • Dyslexia can be mild, moderate, severe, or profound, there is no connection to IQ.
  • Dyslexia is genetic.

When talking or emailing a legislator:

  • Always be respectful and non-threatening (you get more with honey)
  • If you live in their legislative district let them know.  An email from a resident that votes in their district has a bigger impact.
  • Tell your personal story – your child or your students are struggling.  Let them know why their yes vote is important.
  • If you have been trained in the Science of Reading share your story
  • Let them know they can contact you for more information.
  • Thank them for their time and support.

Questions – Contact Courtney LeVinus – courtney@azcapitolconsulting.com


February 17, 2021

Call to Action
Two critical dyslexia bills moving through the AZ Senate
SB1403 – LITERACY; DYSLEXIA SCREENING
SB1684 –  DYSLEXIA SCREENING; APPROPRIATION

Contact your State Senator (note we will contract State Representatives once the bill passes the Senate – only contact your AZ State Senator for now).  If you do not know your State Senator or Legislative District CLICK HERE and enter your address in the yellow line to locate your state legislative district.  Once you have identified your legislative district or if you already know your legislative district CLICK HERE to find your State Senator along with their contact information.  Call or email your legislator and ask them to support both SB1403 and SB1684. 

Register your support of the bill  – If you have an existing ‘Request to Speak’ (RTS) account, please sign in indicating your support of SB1403 and SB1684.

  • Go to azleg.gov and click on the Request to Speak picture.
  • Click sign-in at the top right corner with your username and password.
  • Click the Request to Speak button (with the microphone picture).
  • Click New Request on the left-hand side.
  • Select Senate and in the search phrase area, type 1403.
  • Click the blue-button that says ‘add request’.
  • Next, indicate who you are representing, whether it be yourself or if you are authorized to represent an organization.
  • Click the thumbs up button where it asks your position on the bill.
  • Click yes or no where it asks if you would like to speak.
  • If you wish to speak then click YES REMOTELY
  • You may also type comments in support of the bill in the comment box.  
  • Click submit 
  • Repeat the process for SB1684
  • If you need additional assistance please refer to the RTS manual
  • Unfortunately, if you do not already have an RTS account you are not able to register to support SB1403 as the initial registration has to occur at the State Capitol at one of the kiosks located in the House and Senate buildings and both buildings are currently not open to the public.   

SB1403 Includes the following provisions:

  • Gives schools till 2022 to have at least one teacher in K-3 trained in dyslexia (due to COVID).
  • Gives the Department of Education till 2022 to have the screening program in place (due to change below).
  • Changes the screening requirement for Nonsense word repetition to Nonsense word FLUENCY.
  • The Boyer Committee Amendment will include the following:
    • Require all new teachers to be trained in the SCIENCE OF READING INSTRUCTION.
    • Require new teachers to pass a proficiency exam.

Talking Points on SB1403

  • The proposed changes are the result of the 2019 dyslexia study committee recommendations.  This bill and committee amended were included in the 2020 dyslexia bill that failed to pass the full legislature because of the COVID pandemic.  
  • Implementing the requirement that new teachers receiving education pertaining to the Science of Reading have shown to improve reading scores – 
    • According to the “Teacher Prep Review: Program Performance in Early Reading Instruction,” released by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), teacher preparation programs are catching up to the scientific evidence on how the brain learns to read. The teacher preparation research group reports that in 2019, more than half of teacher training programs now teach the “Science of Reading,” compared to 35% just a few years ago, in 2013
    • Mississippi students have risen faster than anyone since 2013, particularly for fourth graders. In fourth-grade reading results, Mississippi boosted its ranking from forty-ninth in 2013 to twenty-ninth in 2019.  So how have they done it? Education commentators have pointed to several possible causes: roll-out of early literacy programs and professional development, focus on the “science of reading” and faithful implementation of Common Core standards.

SB1684 Includes the following provisions:

Appropriates $1,280,000 from the state GF in FY 2022 and each subsequent fiscal year to ADE for the following:

  • $1,000,000 for school district and charter schools to provide pupil screening for dyslexia indicators; and
  • $280,000 to ADE for the following purposes 
  • funding three full-time employee positions to implement the K-3 reading program and dyslexia screening plan;
  • providing early literacy professional development to Arizona teachers;
  • augmenting the reading programs and dyslexia screening as outlined;
  • gathering, aggregating and analyzing the statewide data for early literacy and dyslexia; and
  • establishing a regional training model for teacher training and enhancing awareness of dyslexia indicators.

$1,000,000 from the state GF in FY 2022 to ADE for the Literacy Training Grant Program for distributing grants to certificated teachers to complete the Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS) Program or the AZ Department of Education – Teaching Reading Effectively (TRE) Program or their successor programs.

General Dyslexia Talking Points:

  • 1 in 5 people has dyslexia or a reading-related disability (approximately 325,000 students in Arizona) according to the National Institutes of Health.
  • 95% of dyslexic students will read proficiently at grade level if they receive the right kind of instruction by 1st grade (National Institutes of Health). 
  • If dyslexia intervention is delayed until 4th grade it takes four times as long to improve the same skills by the same amount (Susan Hall – Straight Talk About Reading).
  • 44% of third-graders in Arizona are proficient or highly proficient, 56% are minimally or partially proficient in language arts (2018 AzMerit)…Dyslexia is the link that is being ignored.
  • 75% of students that are poor readers in 3rd grade will remain poor readers in 9th grade (Sally Shaywitz et all 1998).
  • Poor reading skills are the leading cause of High School dropouts (US Department of Education).
  • 80% of inmates in a Huntsville, Texas, State Prison were functionally illiterate, and 48% were dyslexic (University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston – 2000).
  • Dyslexia can be mild, moderate, severe or profound, there is no connection to IQ.
  • Dyslexia is genetic.

When talking or emailing a legislator:

  • Always be respectful and non-threatening (you get more with honey)
  • If you live in their legislative district let them know.  An email from a resident that votes in their district has a bigger impact.
  • Tell your personal story –  your child or your students are struggling.  Let them know why their yes vote is important.
  • If you have been trained in the Science of Reading share your story
  • Let them know they can contact you for more information.
  • Thank them for their time and support.

Questions – Contact Courtney LeVinus – courtney@azcapitolconsulting.com

 


February 3, 2021

Call to Action…Easy as A, B, C
SB1403 – LITERACY; DYSLEXIA SCREENING

SB1403 will be heard in the Arizona Senate Education Committee on Tuesday, February 9th
Committee will start at approximately 2:00 or upon adjournment of the Senate floor.  

 

(A) Contact the Arizona Senate Education Committee Members listed below.  Urge their support of SB1403 in committee with the Senator Boyer Committee Amendment.  

Senator Paul Boyer – Education Committee Vice Chair – (602) 926-4173 or pboyer@azleg.gov *
Senator Nancy Barto – (602) 926-5766 or nbarto@azleg.gov
Senator Sally Ann Gonzales – (602) 926-3278 or sgonzales@azleg.gov
Senator Rick Gray – (602) 926-5413 or rgray@azleg.gov
Senator Christine March –(602) 926-4486 or cmarsh@azleg.gov
Senator Tyler Pace – (602) 926-5760 or tpace@azleg.gov
Senator Jamescita Peshlakai- (602) 926-5160 or jpeshlakai@azleg.gov
Senator T.J. Shope – (602) 926-3012 or tshope@azleg.gov

* Senator Paul Boyer is the bill sponsor and is already supporting the bill.  When you contact him please thank him for introducing the bill and supporting our children who are struggling with dyslexia. 

(B) Contact your individual State Senator (note we will contract State Representatives once the bill passes the Senate – only contact your AZ State Senator for now).  If you do not know your State Senator or Legislative District CLICK HERE and enter your address in the yellow line to locate your state legislative district.  Once you have identified your legislative district or if you already know your legislative district CLICK HERE to find your State Senator along with their contact information.

 

(C) Register your support of the bill or testify remotely.  The hearing will be on Tuesday, February 9th at 2:00 pm.  Testimony will be limited to two minutes per speaker.  


To register your support If you have an existing ‘Request to Speak’ (RTS) account, please sign in indicating your support of SB1403.

  • Go to azleg.gov and click on the Request to Speak picture.
  • Click sign-in at the top right corner with your username and password.
  • Click the Request to Speak button (with the microphone picture).
  • Click New Request on the left-hand side.
  • Select Senate and in the search phrase area, type 1403.
  • Click the blue-button that says ‘add request’.
  • Next, indicate who you are representing, whether it be yourself or if you are authorized to represent an organization.
  • Click the thumbs up button where it asks your position on the bill.
  • Click yes or nowhere it asks if you would like to speak.
  • If you wish to speak then click YES REMOTELY
  • You may also type comments in support of the bill in the comment box.  
  • Click submit 
  • If you need additional assistance please refer to the RTS manual
  • Unfortunately, if you do not already have an RTS account you are not able to register to support SB1403 as the initial registration has to occur at the State Capitol at one of the kiosk located in the House and Senate buildings and both buildings are currently not open to the public.   

To Testify Remotely – If you wish to testify you need to register to support SB1403 (above) and by 9:00 am on Monday, February 8th you need to email SenateED@azleg.gov  to notify staff that you wish to testify remotely include your name, bill number and zoom name.  You will be sent a direct zoom link.  Your zoom name must match your name or staff will not allow you to enter the zoom portal to testify.  If you are testifying you will need to watch the hearing so you are aware when the bill is being heard and listen for the committee chair to call your name.  Once your name is called you will be moved from the zoom waiting room into the zoom meeting at which time you can testify.

Watch the Hearing if you wish to watch the hearing on-line CLICK HERE then click on the video next to the Arizona Senate Education Committee.  If you have Cox cable you can also watch on channel 123.

 

SB1403 Includes the following provisions:

  • Gives schools till 2022 to have at least one teacher in K-3 trained in dyslexia (due to COVID).
  • Gives the Department of Education till 2022 to have the screening program in place (due to change below).
  • Changes the screening requirement for Nonsense word repetition to Nonsense word FLUENCY.
  • The Boyer Committee Amendment will include the following:
    • Require all new teachers to be trained in the SCIENCE OF READING INSTRUCTION.
    • Require new teachers to pass a proficiency exam.

Talking Points on SB1403

  • The proposed changes are the result of the 2019 dyslexia study committee recommendations.  This bill and committee amended were included in the 2020 dyslexia bill that failed to pass the full legislature because of the COVID pandemic.  
  • Implementing the requirement that new teachers receiving education pertaining to the Science of Reading has show to improve reading scores – 
    • According to the “Teacher Prep Review: Program Performance in Early Reading Instruction,” released by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), teacher preparation programs are catching up to the scientific evidence on how the brain learns to read. The teacher preparation research group reports that in 2019, more than half of teacher training programs now teach the “Science of Reading,” compared to 35% just a few years ago, in 2013
    • Mississippi students have risen faster than anyone since 2013, particularly for fourth graders. In fourth grade reading results, Mississippi boosted its ranking from forty-ninth in 2013 to twenty-ninth in 2019.  So how have they done it? Education commentators have pointed to several possible causes: roll-out of early literacy programs and professional development, focus on the “science of reading” and faithful implementation of Common Core standards.
  • We are also working on additional dyslexia bills including securing a $3.5 million appropriation.
  • 1 in 5 people have dyslexia or a reading related disability (approximately 325,000 students in Arizona) according the National Institutes of Health.
  • 95% of dyslexic students will read proficiently at grade level if they receive the right kind of instruction by 1st grade (National Institutes of Health). 
  • If dyslexia intervention is delayed until 4th grade it takes four times as long to improve the same skills by the same amount (Susan Hall – Straight Talk About Reading).
  • 44% of third graders in Arizona are proficient or highly proficient, 56% are minimally or partially proficient in language arts (2018 AzMerit)…Dyslexia is the link that is being ignored.
  • 75% of students that are poor readers in 3rd grade will remain poor readers in 9th grade (Sally Shaywitz et all 1998).
  • Poor reading skills are the leading cause of High School drop outs (US Department of Education).
  • 80% of inmates in a Huntsville, Texas, State Prison were functionally illiterate, and 48% were dyslexic (University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston – 2000).
  • Dyslexia can be mild, moderate, severe or profound, there is no connection to IQ.
  • Dyslexia is genetic.

When talking or emailing a legislator:

  • Always be respectful and non-threatening (you get more with honey)
  • If you live in their legislative district let them know.  An email from a resident that votes in their district has a bigger impact.
  • Tell your personal story –  your child or your students are struggling.  Let them know why their yes vote is important.
  • If you have been trained in the Science of Reading share your story
  • Let them know they can contact you for more information.
  • Thank them for their time and support.

Questions – Contact Courtney LeVinus – courtney@azcapitolconsulting.com


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