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SB-237 Special education: dyslexia risk screening.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 06/28/2021 09:00 PM
SB237:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  June 28, 2021
Amended  IN  Senate  May 20, 2021
Amended  IN  Senate  March 03, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 237


Introduced by Senator Portantino
(Coauthors: Senators Cortese, Dahle, Dodd, Hueso, Limón, Ochoa Bogh, Umberg, and Wiener)
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Bauer-Kahan, Chiu, Gabriel, Holden, Mathis, Luz Rivas, Blanca Rubio, and Villapudua)

January 21, 2021


An act to amend Section 56337.5 of the Education Code, relating to special education.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 237, as amended, Portantino. Special education: dyslexia risk screening.
Existing law requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to develop program guidelines for dyslexia to be used to assist regular education teachers, special education teachers, and parents to identify and assess pupils with dyslexia, as provided. Existing law requires a pupil who is assessed as being dyslexic and meets specified eligibility criteria to be entitled to special education and related services.
This bill would require, on or before June 30, 2022, the State Board of Education to establish an approved list of evidence-based culturally, linguistically, and developmentally appropriate screening instruments to be used by a local educational agency, as defined, to screen pupils for risk of dyslexia, as provided. The bill would require, beginning in the 2022–23 school year, and annually thereafter, a local educational agency serving pupils in any of the grades kindergarten to grade 2, inclusive, to screen each pupil in those grades for risk of dyslexia by using the screening instrument or instruments identified above, as provided. The bill would also require, during the 2022–23 school year, a local educational agency serving pupils in grade 3 to screen each pupil. The bill would require results from the screening, among other things, to be made available to a pupil’s parent or guardian in a timely manner, but no more than 45 calendar days from administering the screening. The bill would require a local educational agency to provide a pupil identified as being at risk for dyslexia with appropriate instruction, progress monitoring, and early intervention in the regular general education program. By expanding the duties of a local educational agency, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 56337.5 of the Education Code is amended to read:

56337.5.
 (a) (1) (A) On or before June 30, 2022, the board shall establish an approved list of evidence-based culturally, linguistically, and developmentally appropriate screening instruments to be used by a local educational agency to screen pupils for risk of dyslexia. The areas to be screened by approved instruments shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:
(i) Phonological and phonemic awareness, including phoneme blending, phoneme segmenting, and phoneme manipulation tasks.
(ii) Sound-symbol recognition and symbol-sound recognition.
(iii) Alphabet knowledge.
(iv) Decoding skills, including real and nonsense words.
(v) Rapid automatized naming, with letters, digits, objects, or colors.
(B) This paragraph does not prohibit the board from periodically adding to the list described in subparagraph (A).
(2) (A) Beginning in the 2022–23 school year, and annually thereafter, a local educational agency serving pupils in any of the grades kindergarten to grade 2, inclusive, shall screen each pupil in kindergarten to grade 2, inclusive, for risk of dyslexia by using a state-approved instrument or instruments with fidelity, as identified in paragraph (1), within 90 calendar days from the start of instruction for the school year, unless objected to in writing by the pupil’s parent or guardian.
(B) During the 2022–23 school year, a local educational agency serving pupils in grade 3 shall conduct the screening described in subparagraph (A) on each pupil in grade 3, in order to identify and provide support to pupils at risk of dyslexia and experiencing significant learning loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
(3) Results from the screening shall be made available to the pupil’s parent or guardian in a timely manner, but no more than 45 calendar days from administering the screening, and shall include information as to how the parent or guardian can access, on the department’s internet website, information about the Multi-Tiered System of Supports, and the California Dyslexia Guidelines developed by the Superintendent pursuant to Section 56335.
(4) If a pupil from another state enrolls for the first time in any of the grades kindergarten to grade 2, inclusive, or in grade 3 during the 2022–23 school year, in the middle of the school year, the local educational agency shall screen the pupil for risk of dyslexia by using a state-approved instrument or instruments with fidelity, as identified in paragraph (1), within 30 calendar days of enrollment, unless the parent or guardian objects in writing or presents documentation that the pupil had a similar screening in their prior state of residence and the parent or guardian was made aware of the results.
(5) Screening pursuant to this subdivision shall not be considered an evaluation to establish eligibility for special education and related services pursuant to the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1400 et seq.), or an evaluation to determine eligibility for a plan pursuant to Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. Sec. 794).
(6) It is the intent of the Legislature that results from the screening pursuant to this subdivision and the California Dyslexia Guidelines developed pursuant to Section 56335 be available for use by teachers and by parents and guardians in order to provide knowledge of the characteristics exhibited by pupils with dyslexia and related learning differences, to provide knowledge of the instructional strategies that can be successfully used with pupils at risk for dyslexia, and to help parents and guardians understand their rights.
(7) A local educational agency shall provide a pupil identified as being at risk for dyslexia pursuant to this subdivision with appropriate instruction, progress monitoring, and early intervention in the regular general education program. A local educational agency may also provide additional support and referrals, as recommended in the California Dyslexia Guidelines and the English Language Arts/English Language Development Framework.
(b) A pupil who is assessed as being dyslexic and meets eligibility criteria specified in Section 56337 and paragraph (10) of subdivision (b) of Section 3030 of Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations for the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1400 et seq.) category of specific learning disabilities is entitled to special education and related services.
(c) (1) If a pupil who exhibits the characteristics of dyslexia or another related reading dysfunction is not found to be eligible for special education and related services pursuant to subdivision (b), the pupil’s instructional program shall be provided in the regular education program. Under existing law, the pupil may be eligible for a plan pursuant to Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. Sec. 794).
(2) Local educational agencies are encouraged to use structured literacy instruction, as recommended by the California Dyslexia Guidelines, and progress monitoring, as recommended in the English Language Arts/English Language Development Framework, as appropriate, for these pupils in the regular education program.
(d) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) “Local educational agency” means a school district, county office of education, or charter school.
(2) “Screening instrument” means a brief tool administered by an appropriately trained school employee, including, but not limited to, a certificated teacher of record, measuring discrete skills to determine risk for dyslexia and possible need for early intervention, including, but not limited to, structured literacy instruction, progress monitoring, and early intervention as a component of the Multi-Tiered System of Supports.

SEC. 2.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.