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.
   18  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   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.