Florida Senate - 2016 SB 472 By Senator Bean 4-00434-16 2016472__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to exceptional student education; 3 creating s. 1003.5712, F.S.; providing legislative 4 findings; defining the term “dyslexia”; requiring the 5 Department of Education to establish the Dyslexia 6 Choice Academy Pilot Project; requiring the department 7 to consult with the Duval County School Board for 8 specified purposes; requiring the Duval County School 9 Board to provide mentoring services to participating 10 school districts; providing for pilot project 11 participation; providing Dyslexia Choice Academy, 12 school district, department, and legislative funding 13 requirements; requiring the department to submit a 14 report to the Legislature at the conclusion of the 15 project; providing for rulemaking; providing an 16 effective date. 17 18 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 19 20 Section 1. Section 1003.5712, Florida Statutes, is created 21 to read: 22 1003.5712 Dyslexia.— 23 (1) The Legislature finds that: 24 (a) Dyslexia, if not diagnosed early, can be severely 25 detrimental to a student’s academic success, as well as his or 26 her self-esteem. 27 (b) Most students identified as having markers of dyslexia 28 can be successfully treated. 29 (c) The cost of screening and treating dyslexia early is 30 significantly less than the cost of intensive remediation in 31 later school years for a student with dyslexia. 32 (2) The term “dyslexia” means a specific learning 33 disability that is: 34 (a) Neurological in origin. 35 (b) Characterized by difficulties with accurate and fluent 36 word recognition and poor spelling and decoding abilities that 37 typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of 38 language. 39 (c) Often unexpected in relation to other cognitive 40 abilities. 41 Section 2. Dyslexia Choice Academy Pilot Project.— 42 (1)(a) Beginning in the 2016-2017 school year, the 43 Department of Education shall establish the 5-year Dyslexia 44 Choice Academy Pilot Project to expand the Duval County GRASP 45 Academy and to create a Dyslexia Choice Academy in five 46 participating school districts to provide evidence-based 47 instruction to meet the needs of students with dyslexia. 48 (b) The department shall consult with the Duval County 49 School Board in implementing the pilot project. The Duval County 50 School Board shall also provide other participating school 51 districts with mentoring services, including advice and guidance 52 on establishing and operating a Dyslexia Choice Academy. 53 (2) The pilot project shall expand the Duval County GRASP 54 Academy by an additional 128 students and create Dyslexia Choice 55 Academies in two school districts with a population of greater 56 than 500,000, two school districts with a population of at least 57 100,000 but not greater than 500,000, and one school district 58 with a population of fewer than 100,000. A school district must 59 submit an application to participate in the pilot project on a 60 form prescribed by the department by a date established by the 61 department. A selected school district may partner with an 62 adjoining school district with a population of 500,000 or fewer 63 to reach the required enrollment numbers. 64 (3) A Dyslexia Choice Academy shall: 65 (a) Enroll up to 128 eligible students, but not fewer than 66 96 students, in grades 1 through 8. During the first year of 67 operation, a Dyslexia Choice Academy may choose to serve 68 students in grades 1 through 5 only; however, the Dyslexia 69 Choice Academy must add an additional grade level during each of 70 the following school years until the Dyslexia Choice Academy 71 serves students in grades 1 through 8. To be eligible for 72 enrollment, a student must be diagnosed as dyslexic or, in the 73 absence of a formal diagnosis, be identified as having met the 74 characteristics of a dyslexic student. 75 (b) Provide evidence-based instruction with an Orton 76 Gillingham approach, which must include: 77 1. Direct instruction that is systematic, sequential, and 78 cumulative. 79 2. Individualized instruction in a small group setting that 80 meets the specific needs of each student. 81 3. Meaning-based instruction directed at purposeful reading 82 and writing, with an emphasis on comprehension and composition. 83 4. Multisensory instruction that incorporates the 84 simultaneous use of two or more sensory pathways during teacher 85 presentations and student practice. 86 5. Instruction in all core curriculum subjects. 87 6. Structured language instruction to enhance students’ 88 reading, writing, and spelling skills. 89 (c) Provide a one-to-one student-to-electronics ratio for 90 remediation, enrichment, writing practice, and keyboarding 91 skills. 92 (4) A school district participating in the pilot project 93 shall: 94 (a) Identify and screen students who demonstrate the 95 characteristics of dyslexia for enrollment in the Dyslexia 96 Choice Academy. 97 (b) Provide transportation to students attending the 98 Dyslexia Choice Academy. 99 (c) Select an evidence-based curriculum with an Orton 100 Gillingham approach to be used in the Dyslexia Choice Academy. 101 (d) Provide training for the instructional personnel of the 102 Dyslexia Choice Academy in the selected methodology and 103 curriculum. 104 (e) Select the following personnel for the Dyslexia Choice 105 Academy: 106 1. A principal or lead teacher with specific education, 107 training, and experience in teaching students with dyslexia. 108 2. A school psychologist or appropriate professional with 109 training in dyslexia to screen students for dyslexia. 110 3. A guidance counselor with training in dyslexia to 111 provide advice and guidance on the appropriate education for 112 students with dyslexia. 113 4. Teachers and paraprofessionals trained in appropriate 114 evidenced-based, dyslexia-specific methodologies. 115 (5) The department shall: 116 (a) Provide funding to: 117 1. The Duval County School Board for planning and mentoring 118 purposes. 119 2. Each participating school district for the purchase of 120 an appropriate curriculum for the Dyslexia Choice Academy. 121 3. Each participating school district to supplement 122 transportation costs, ensuring that students from all areas of 123 the school district may attend the Dyslexia Choice Academy. 124 (b) At the conclusion of the pilot project, conduct an 125 evaluation of the learning gains of students enrolled in a 126 Dyslexia Choice Academy and submit to the President of the 127 Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a report 128 that must include a recommendation for continuing or terminating 129 the project. 130 (6) The Legislature shall appropriate funds in the General 131 Appropriations Act to participating school districts to provide 132 a teacher-student ratio of 1 to 16 and a paraprofessional 133 student ratio of 1 to 48 in each Dyslexia Choice Academy. 134 (7) The State Board of Education shall adopt rules to 135 administer the pilot project. 136 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016.