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S.F. No. 453 - Dyslexia and Literacy Specialist
Author: Senator Roger C. Chamberlain
Prepared By: Senate Counsel, Research and Fiscal Analysis (651/296-4791)
Date: February 16, 2017


Section 1. Identification; Report. Requires school districts to identify students in grade 3 or higher who demonstrate difficulty reading.  Directs districts to use screening tools to identify students with dyslexia similar to tools recommended by the state’s dyslexia and literacy specialist.

Section 2. Intervention. Requires school districts to continue interventions after grade 3 for students identified as not reading at grade level until a student is reading at grade level.

Section 3. Dyslexia and Literacy Specialist.

Subdivision 1. Purpose. Directs Minnesota Department of Education to employ a dyslexia and literacy specialist.  The specialist is required to provide technical assistance; serves as the primary source of information and support for schools in addressing student’s needs; increase professional awareness and instructional competencies to meet the educational needs of students with dyslexia; and develop guidelines to assist teachers to recognize educational needs and improve literacy outcomes for certain students.

Subdivision 2. Definition. Defines “dyslexia and literacy specialist” as a dyslexia therapist, licensed psychologist, certified psychometrist, licensed speech-language pathologist, or certified dyslexia training specialist.

Subdivision 3. Requirements. Requires the specialist to be highly trained in dyslexia and related disorder and in using certain interventions and treatments.

Section 4. Requirement. Requires a school district to provide alternate instruction that is multimodal, systematic, sequential, cumulative and explicit to students that are identified as being unable to read at grade level.

Section 5. Dyslexia Professional Development Grants.

Subdivision 1. Grant Program Established. Directs the Commissioner to establish a grant program to fund teacher professional development opportunities related to dyslexia. 

Subdivision 2. Application and Grant Awards. Directs the Commissioner to determine the applications procedures, grant awards, payment process and the amount of the subsidy under this section.

Subdivision 3. Requirements. Limits approved programs for teacher participation to a program identified by the Commissioner and the dyslexia and literacy specialist that enable a teacher to:

(1)  understand and recognize characteristics typical of students with dyslexia; and

(2)  implement instructional strategies to meet the educational needs of students with characteristics of dyslexia.

Section 6. Appropriation.  Appropriates a blank amount in fiscal years 2018 and 2019 to the Commissioner for dyslexia professional development grants.

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