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SF 453

1st Engrossment - 90th Legislature (2017 - 2018) Posted on 02/23/2017 10:09am

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Current Version - 1st Engrossment

A bill for an act
relating to education; requiring a dyslexia and literacy specialist; appropriating
money;amending Minnesota Statutes 2016, sections 120B.12, subdivisions 2, 3;
124D.98, by adding a subdivision; 125A.56, subdivision 1; proposing coding for
new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 120B.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 120B.12, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Identification; report.

(a) Each school district shall identify before the end of
kindergarten, grade 1, and grade 2 students who are not reading at grade level before the
end of the current school year and shall identify students in grade 3 or higher who
demonstrate a reading difficulty to a classroom teacher
. Reading assessments in English,
and in the predominant languages of district students where practicable, must identify and
evaluate students' areas of academic need related to literacy. The district also must monitor
the progress and provide reading instruction appropriate to the specific needs of English
learners. The district must use a locally adopted, developmentally appropriate, and culturally
responsive assessment and annually report summary assessment results to the commissioner
by July 1. The district also must annually report to the commissioner by July 1 a summary
of the district's efforts to screen and identify students with:

(1) dyslexia, using screening tools such as those recommended by the department's
dyslexia and literacy specialist;
or

(2) convergence insufficiency disorder to the commissioner by July 1.

(b) A student identified under this subdivision must be provided with alternate instruction
under section 125A.56, subdivision 1.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 120B.12, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Intervention.

For each student identified under subdivision 2, the district shall
provide reading intervention to accelerate student growth and reach the goal of reading at
or above grade level by the end of the current grade and school year. District intervention
methods shall encourage family engagement and, where possible, collaboration with
appropriate school and community programs. Intervention methods may include, but are
not limited to, requiring attendance in summer school, intensified reading instruction that
may require that the student be removed from the regular classroom for part of the school
day, extended-day programs, or programs that strengthen students' cultural connections.
Intervention must continue after grade 3 until the student is reading at grade level.

Sec. 3.

[120B.122] DYSLEXIA AND LITERACY SPECIALIST.

Subdivision 1.

Purpose.

The department must employ a dyslexia and literacy specialist
to provide technical assistance for dyslexia and related disorders and to serve as the primary
source of information and support for schools in addressing the needs of students with
dyslexia and related disorders. The dyslexia and literacy specialist shall also act to increase
professional awareness and instructional competencies to meet the educational needs of
students with dyslexia or identified with risk characteristics associated with dyslexia and
shall develop program guidelines consistent with section 122A.06, subdivision 4, to be used
to assist general education teachers and special education teachers to recognize educational
needs and to improve literacy outcomes for students with dyslexia or identified with risk
characteristics associated with dyslexia.

Subd. 2.

Definition.

For purposes of this section, a "dyslexia and literacy specialist"
means a dyslexia therapist, licensed psychologist, certified psychometrist, licensed
speech-language pathologist, or certified dyslexia training specialist who has a minimum
of three years of field experience in screening, identifying, and treating dyslexia and related
disorders.

Subd. 3.

Requirements.

A dyslexia and literacy specialist shall be highly trained in
dyslexia and related disorders and in using interventions and treatments that are
evidence-based, multisensory, direct, explicit, structured, and sequential in the areas of
phonics, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 124D.98, is amended by adding a subdivision to
read:


Subd. 4.

Dyslexia and literacy specialist.

Up to $150,000 of literacy incentive aid is
transferred to the Department of Education in each year of the biennium for the purpose of
employing a dyslexia and literacy specialist according to section 120B.122.

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 125A.56, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Requirement.

(a) Before a pupil is referred for a special education
evaluation, the district must conduct and document at least two instructional strategies,
alternatives, or interventions using a system of scientific, research-based instruction and
intervention in academics or behavior, based on the pupil's needs, while the pupil is in the
regular classroom. The pupil's teacher must document the results. A special education
evaluation team may waive this requirement when it determines the pupil's need for the
evaluation is urgent. This section may not be used to deny a pupil's right to a special
education evaluation.

(b) A school district shall use alternative intervention services, including the assurance
of mastery program under section 124D.66, or an early intervening services program under
subdivision 2 to serve at-risk pupils who demonstrate a need for alternative instructional
strategies or interventions.

(c) A student identified as being unable to read at grade level under section 120B.12,
subdivision 2, paragraph (a), must be provided with alternate instruction under this
subdivision that is multisensory, systematic, sequential, cumulative, and explicit.

Sec. 6. DYSLEXIA PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT GRANTS.

Subdivision 1.

Grant program established.

The commissioner of education shall
establish a grant program to fund teacher professional development opportunities related
to dyslexia. The state may pay all or a portion of the costs of tuition, fees, and materials
that a teacher or other interested educator incurs in participating in an approved program.

Subd. 2.

Application and grant awards.

The commissioner shall determine application
procedures and deadlines, select teachers and other interested educators to participate in the
training, and determine the payment process and amount of the subsidy.

Subd. 3.

Requirements.

For purposes of this section, an approved program is one that
the commissioner, in consultation with the Department of Education dyslexia and literacy
specialist, identifies to enable a teacher to:

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

(2) implement instructional strategies that are evidence-based, multisensory, direct,
explicit, structured, and sequential to meet the educational needs of students with
characteristics of dyslexia.

Sec. 7. APPROPRIATION.

Subdivision 1.

Department of Education.

The sums indicated in this section are
appropriated from the general fund to the Department of Education for the fiscal years
designated.

Subd. 2.

Dyslexia professional development grants.

For teacher professional
development opportunities related to dyslexia under section 5:

$
.......
.....
2018
$
.......
.....
2019
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700 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155 ♦ Phone: (651) 296-2868 ♦ TTY: 1-800-627-3529 ♦ Fax: (651) 296-0569