Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Oakley) introduced Assembly Bill 1369 on February 27, 2015, which would benefit California students with dyslexia.
The bill requires screening for dyslexia every year from kindergarten through third grade, teacher training, evidence-based remediation, and the term dyslexia to be defined as it is by the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).
Jim Frazier states, “I am proud to author AB 1369. This bill will provide schools with the necessary tools that will ensure students with dyslexia receive the help they need as they begin their education.
Tobie Meyer, a Brentwood resident and mother of a son with dyslexia, is a lead legislative member of Decoding Dyslexia California (DD-CA). “Teachers are hungry for this information, which, through no fault of their own, was not provided to them during their university training,” she said.
Locally, Becky St. Marie, a dyslexia screener and tutor who works at Round Valley School, says that the new bill would particularly help address mild to moderate cases.
“I know it would have made a huge difference in my daughter’s education had it been in place when she was younger and first started struggling,” said St. Marie, who noted that in milder cases, kids can get by for the first few years in school before the material becomes more difficult.
Decoding Dyslexia California is part of a nationwide, grassroots effort to improve services to children with dyslexia. There are Decoding Dyslexia chapters in all 50 states and four Canadian provinces. Last year, 18 laws were passed nationwide to improve education for students with dyslexia.
On average, three to five kids in every U.S. classroom have dyslexia, a brain-based learning disability that often runs in families and makes it difficult to read, write, and spell. For these children, the path toward reading is often marked by struggle, anxiety and feelings of inadequacy.
“In 2013, 54% of California fourth graders read below grade level,” according to National Center for Education Statistics. “Early identification, coupled with comprehensive early reading interventions, will reduce the percentage of children reading below basic level in 4th grade from the current National average of 38% to less than 6%.”