ASSEMBLY EDUCATION COMMITTEE

 

STATEMENT TO

 

ASSEMBLY, No. 3605

 

with committee amendments

 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 

DATED:MARCH 14, 2013

 

††††† The Assembly Education Committee reports favorably Assembly Bill No. 3605 with committee amendments.

††††† Under the bill, as amended, the Commissioner of Education must distribute to each board of education information on screening instruments available to identify students who exhibit potential indicators of dyslexia and other reading disabilities.† The commissioner must also develop and distribute to each board of education guidance on appropriate intervention strategies for students diagnosed with dyslexia or other reading disabilities.

††††† The bill requires a board of education to screen each student enrolled in the school district for dyslexia and other reading disabilities no later than the studentís completion of the first grade.† Screening will also be required for a student who would have been enrolled in kindergarten or the first grade during or after the 2013-2014 school year who initially enrolls in the district in grades two through six when there is no record of prior screening.† The bill provides that the screening must be administered by a teacher or other teaching staff member properly trained in the screening process for dyslexia and other reading disabilities.

††††† The bill also requires a board of education to ensure that each student who is determined through the screening to exhibit potential indicators of dyslexia or other reading disability is provided with a comprehensive assessment for the learning disorder.† In the event that a diagnosis is confirmed, the board of education must provide appropriate intervention strategies to the student, including intense instruction on phonemic awareness, phonics and fluency, vocabulary and reading comprehension.

††††† The committee amended the bill to require that a board of education screen all students for dyslexia and other reading disabilities by the studentís completion of the first grade, rather than during kindergarten.