SBOE_simulationDyslexia remediation policies and procedures, in Texas, and around the country, are often under or unfunded mandates. In Texas, this past week, SBOE member Tincy Miller moved to add a provision to the SBOE 85th Legislative Priority List that would rekindle the ability of the TEA or ESCs to make site visits. That request was at first paired with a level of funding, comparing dyslexia funding to the funding provided for gifted and talented education. In its final form, the request for DEC, or District Effectiveness Compliance visits morphed into a request for the removal of the limitation placed on site monitoring ability (created by the system of electronic monitoring and removal of funding for this task under previous law and rule making), and a broad request for these visits. The word dyslexia was removed from the actual request, but the legislative or rule making intent of the SBOE was clear:

monitor local decisions re textbook adoptions, monitor compliance with dyslexia identification and programming laws and rules, and monitor special education services to students (no limitation or targets on those numbers).

Efforts are underway to appeal to SBOE members regarding this matter, but it has already been done: the list of SBOE’s 85th Legislative Priorities was approved, and here it is:

“2017 legislative recommendations

The State Board of Education also voted on its 2017 legislative recommendations. The eight recommendations below include returning instructional materials approval back to the board, requesting funds to assist the board in creating and implementing a long-range education plan, and prohibiting public dollars from going to vouchers.

  1. Expand the State Board of Education’s authority to review and approve instructional materials beyond 50% of TEKS coverage, factual errors and applicable physical specifications.
  2. Allocate funds to the State Board of Education to support the creation and implementation of a long-range plan as required by Texas Education Code 7.102(c)(1).
  3. Ensure sufficient legislative appropriations to increase staffing at the Texas Education Agency, particularly in the curriculum division, to provide adequate personnel to oversee and support the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills review and implementation process and the textbook adoption process.
  4. Protect the public education funds/services to adequately identify and serve the needs of all special education students by identifying and not limiting the number of students served or funding.
  5. Remove the limitation on the agency to undertake on-site monitoring of school districts and charters and provide funding for on-site monitoring.
  6. Conserve public free schools and prohibit public dollars from going to private schools or parents/guardians.
  7. Improve student data privacy by: 1) providing resources to the agency to ensure that agency data systems maintain and improve student data privacy, 2) passing requirements for publishers and third party suppliers to ensure student data privacy and 3) enacting student data privacy guidelines for local districts that include a requirement for local districts to adopt a plan to protect student data privacy.
  8. Support the Commissioner’s request for E-Rate support funding for high-speed internet infrastructure for classroom connectivity to improve student access to online resources for all Texas students.”
(excerpted from “State Board of Education Rejects Textbook, Sets Legislative Priorities,” Texas Classroom Teachers Association https://tcta.org/node/14376-state_board_of_education_rejects_textbook_sets_legislative_priorities)
This list of requests is meant to encourage the 85th legislature to appropriate funds for these items, and to put forth legislation to enact these requests.
Will the legislature consider and support these measures? The specific outcome of this request will be something this site will monitor, and report on. Ways we can be effective in taking action on this topic will be shared here.
What are your priorities and thoughts about where state funding for dyslexia may be needed? Do you think that onsite visits or compliance visits would help students? The funding is not targeted to students with dyslexia per se, or to their actual education/remediation, though, indirectly, site visits could encourage better identification and programming compliance.
There’s no question that funding in the area of dyslexia is needed and vital, and this is a step forward, though it is hard to know where it will lead.
Please share your thoughts at info@parentsdyslexiaedgroup.org  
#Image taken at Texas SBOE Dyslexia Simulation, presented by teachers of RISD in partnership with the Parents Dyslexia Education Group, 2014


all original content ©2016 the Parents Dyslexia Education Group


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