BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                             Senator Ricardo Lara, Chair
                            2015 - 2016  Regular  Session

          AB 1369 (Frazier) - Special education: dyslexia.
          
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          |Version: May 4, 2015            |Policy Vote: ED. 9 - 0          |
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          |Urgency: No                     |Mandate: No                     |
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          |Hearing Date: August 17, 2015   |Consultant: Jillian Kissee      |
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          This bill meets the criteria for referral to the Suspense File.

          Bill  
          Summary:  This bill requires the State Board of Education to  
          include "phonological processing" in the description of basic  
          psychological processes in the state's regulations.  The  
          Superintendent of Public Instruction is required to develop  
          program guidelines for dyslexia, post them on the California  
          Department of Education's (CDE) website, and provide technical  
          assistance regarding their use.


          Fiscal  
          Impact:  
           According to the CDE, one-time costs of about $103,000 and  
            three partial staff to modify regulations and develop and  
            disseminate program guidelines on dyslexia.  Costs also  
            include creating webinars to provide technical assistance, and  
            travel costs associated with stakeholder meetings.  (General  
            Fund)

           After year one, ongoing costs of about $130,000 for one  
            position and a partial position to provide technical  
            assistance to the field, update and disseminate information,  







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            and respond to complaints of non-compliance with the new  
            guidelines.  (General Fund)

           Significant local cost pressures to implement the guidelines  
            developed by the CDE.


          Background:  Existing law:

          1)Defines a specific learning disability as a disorder in one or  
            more of the basic psychological processes involved in  
            understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which  
            may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think,  
            speak, read, write, spell, or perform mathematical  
            calculations.  
            (United States Code, Title 20,  1401, and Education Code   
            56337)


          2)Includes in the definition of a specific learning disability  
            conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury,  
            minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental  
            aphasia.  Existing regulations specify that the basic  
            psychological processes include attention, visual processing,  
            auditory processing, sensory-motor skills, cognitive abilities  
            (including association), conceptualization and expression.     
            (California Code of Regulations, Title 5,  3030)


          3)Provides that a student who is assessed as being dyslexic and  
            meets eligibility criteria for the category of specific  
            learning disabilities is entitled to special education and  
            related services.  (EC  56337.5)


          4)Provides that if a student who exhibits the characteristics of  
            dyslexia or another related reading dysfunction is not found  
            to be eligible for special education and related services, the  
            student's instructional program is to be provided in the  
            regular education program.  (EC  56337.5)


          5)Encourages institutions of higher education to provide, in  
            teacher training programs, increased emphasis on the  








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            recognition of, and teaching strategies for, specific learning  
            disabilities, including dyslexia and related disorders.  (EC   
            44227.7)


          6)Encourages the inclusion of a component on the recognition of,  
            and teaching strategies for, specific learning disabilities,  
            including dyslexia and related disorders, in local in-service  
            training programs for regular education teachers and special  
            education teachers in local educational agencies.  (EC   
            56245)


          According to the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, a  
          phonological process disorder involves patterns of sound errors,  
          such as substituting "k" sounds for "g" sounds.  According to  
          the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke,  
          dyslexia is a brain-based type of learning disability that  
          specifically impairs a person's ability to read.  Common  
          characteristics among people with dyslexia are difficulty with  
          phonological processing (the manipulation of sounds), spelling,  
          and/or rapid visual-verbal responding.




          Proposed Law:  
            This bill requires the State Board of Education to include  
          "phonological processing" in the description of basic  
          psychological processes in the state's regulations.
          This bill also requires the Superintendent to, before the  
          beginning of the 2017-18 academic year, develop program  
          guidelines for dyslexia to be used to: (1) assist regular and  
          special education teachers, and parents to identify and assess  
          students with dyslexia, and (2) plan, provide, evaluate, and  
          improve educational services to students with dyslexia.   
          Educational services are specifically defined as "an  
          evidence-based, multisensory, direct, explicit, structured, and  
          sequential approach to instructing pupils who have dyslexia."


          In developing the program guidelines the Superintendent must  
          consult with a number of individuals and professionals involved  
          in the identification and education of students with dyslexia.   








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          The Superintendent is required to post the guidelines on the  
          CDE's website and to provide technical assistance regarding  
          their use and implementation.




          Staff  
        Comments:7)  Current law provides that a student who is assessed as being  
          dyslexic, as specified, is entitled to special education and  
          related services under the specific learning disability  
          category.  Existing law defines a specific learning disability  
          as a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological  
          processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken  
          or written.  State regulations specify that the basic  
          psychological processes include attention, visual processing,  
          auditory processing, sensory-motor skills, cognitive abilities,  
          conceptualization and expression.  The description of  
          psychological processes and the inclusion of phonological  
          processes appear to be an expansion to beyond federal law.  To  
          the extent expanding the definition of psychological processes  
          results in required expansion of services beyond federal law,  
          costs for implementing these services could be determined to be  
          a reimbursable state mandate.
          
          This bill also requires the CDE to develop program guidelines  
          for dyslexia to be used to assist teachers and other individuals  
          to identify and assess students with dyslexia and to plan,  
          provide, evaluate, and improve educational services to students  
          with dyslexia.  This bill provides a specific definition for  
          educational services.  These program guidelines would only be  
          advisory to local educational agencies and would therefore not  
          be eligible for reimbursement under state mandate law but would  
          create cost pressures to implement them.  


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