Albany, NY – Assemblymember Robert Carroll (D/WF-Brooklyn) today announced that his legislation (A.133 / S.2599) to establish an expert statewide task force on Dyslexia passed the State Assembly today.
The legislation will require the New York State Education Department Commissioner to establish a task force to examine appropriate and effective evidence-based screening methods, reading interventions and other educational supports for dyslexia and related disorders for students in kindergarten through grade five.
This bill passed both houses of the legislature last year but was vetoed by the Governor in November.
“The Governor’s callous veto of this bill ignored the needs of hundreds of thousands of children and their families. This has not deterred us in the Legislature from doing what we know makes sense and passing my task force bill again,” said Assemblymember Carroll. “New York City just announced that it is overhauling the way it teaches reading in elementary schools by moving to evidence-based curricula grounded in the science of reading. Now the State needs to do the work required so kids throughout the State are taught to read using methods that work and not ineffective techniques such as three cueing.”
The task force will be chaired by the SED Commissioner and comprised of no less than ten members, all appointed by the Commissioner and will include:
- at least two professionals who specialize in identifying, evaluating, and diagnosing individuals with dyslexia and related disorders
- at least one member who specializes in educating individuals with dyslexia and related disorders
- at least one parent of a student with dyslexia;
- at least one individual with dyslexia
- at least one representative from an institute of higher education who is an expert in dyslexia and related disorders.
- at least one member who is a public school teacher who specializes in teaching literacy and evidence-based reading instruction.
The task force will conduct at least two public hearings and submit a report with findings and recommendations to the Governor, Speaker of the Assembly, and President of the Senate within eighteen months after it becomes law.
Studies have shown that as many as one in five children have dyslexia or another phonemic awareness issue, but there is still no coherent approach in New York to addressing their needs. The State ranks near the bottom nationally in teacher training on evidence-based literacy curricula and seventy percent of fourth graders in New York State are not reading at grade level according to the results of the federal National Assessment of Educational Progress for 2022.
“As a person with dyslexia who had the extraordinary benefit of being diagnosed early and given the proper interventions, I know first-hand how much of a difference evidence-based reading interventions can make for not just dyslexic kids like me, but for all our students” said Assemblymember Carroll. “It is high time that the State stop turning its back on children with dyslexia and the broader literacy crisis we are facing and begin the work of the task force without delay.”This legislation has also passed the Senate and will now go to the Governor for signature.