Substitute Senate Bill No. 1054
Public Act No. 15-97
AN ACT CONCERNING STUDENTS WITH DYSLEXIA.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:
Section 1. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2015) The Commissioner of Education shall designate an employee of the Department of Education to be responsible for providing information and assistance to local and regional boards of education and the parents or guardians of students relating to the detection and recognition of, and evidence-based structured literacy interventions for, students with dyslexia. For purposes of this section, "dyslexia" has the same meaning as provided in the Department of Education IEP Manual and Forms, revised January 2015, as amended from time to time.
Sec. 2. Subsection (f) of section 10-145a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2015):
(f) On and after July 1, 2006, any program of teacher preparation leading to professional certification shall include, as part of the curriculum, instruction in literacy skills and processes that reflects current research and best practices in the field of literacy training. Such instruction shall (1) be incorporated into requirements of student major and concentration, and (2) on and after July 1, 2015, include not fewer than twelve clock hours of instruction in the detection and recognition of, and evidence-based structured literacy interventions for, students with dyslexia, as defined in section 1 of this act.
Sec. 3. Subsection (a) of section 10-220a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2015):
(a) Each local or regional board of education shall provide an in-service training program for its teachers, administrators and pupil personnel who hold the initial educator, provisional educator or professional educator certificate. Such program shall provide such teachers, administrators and pupil personnel with information on (1) the nature and the relationship of drugs, as defined in subdivision (17) of section 21a-240, and alcohol to health and personality development, and procedures for discouraging their abuse, (2) health and mental health risk reduction education which includes, but need not be limited to, the prevention of risk-taking behavior by children and the relationship of such behavior to substance abuse, pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV-infection and AIDS, as defined in section 19a-581, violence, teen dating violence, domestic violence, child abuse and youth suicide, (3) the growth and development of exceptional children, including handicapped and gifted and talented children and children who may require special education, including, but not limited to, children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder or learning disabilities, and methods for identifying, planning for and working effectively with special needs children in a regular classroom, including, but not limited to, implementation of student individualized education programs, (4) school violence prevention, conflict resolution, the prevention of and response to youth suicide and the identification and prevention of and response to bullying, as defined in subsection (a) of section 10-222d, except that those boards of education that implement any evidence-based model approach that is approved by the Department of Education and is consistent with subsection (d) of section 10-145a, sections 10-222d, 10-222g and 10-222h, subsection (g) of section 10-233c and sections 1 and 3 of public act 08-160, shall not be required to provide in-service training on the identification and prevention of and response to bullying, (5) cardiopulmonary resuscitation and other emergency life saving procedures, (6) computer and other information technology as applied to student learning and classroom instruction, communications and data management, (7) the teaching of the language arts, reading and reading readiness for teachers in grades kindergarten to three, inclusive, (8) second language acquisition in districts required to provide a program of bilingual education pursuant to section 10-17f, (9) the requirements and obligations of a mandated reporter, [and] (10) the teacher evaluation and support program adopted pursuant to subsection (b) of section 10-151b, and (11) the detection and recognition of, and evidence-based structured literacy interventions for, students with dyslexia, as defined in section 1 of this act. Each local and regional board of education may allow any paraprofessional or noncertified employee to participate, on a voluntary basis, in any in-service training program provided pursuant to this section. The State Board of Education, within available appropriations and utilizing available materials, shall assist and encourage local and regional boards of education to include: (A) Holocaust and genocide education and awareness; (B) the historical events surrounding the Great Famine in Ireland; (C) African-American history; (D) Puerto Rican history; (E) Native American history; (F) personal financial management; (G) domestic violence and teen dating violence; (H) mental health first aid training; and (I) topics approved by the state board upon the request of local or regional boards of education as part of in-service training programs pursuant to this subsection.
Sec. 4. Section 10-14t of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2015):
(a) On or before January 1,  2016, the Department of Education shall develop or approve reading assessments for use by local and regional boards of education for the school year commencing July 1,  2016, and each school year thereafter, to identify students in kindergarten to grade three, inclusive, who are below proficiency in reading, provided any reading assessments developed or approved by the department include frequent screening and progress monitoring of students. Such reading assessments shall (1) measure phonics, phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension, (2) provide opportunities for periodic formative assessment during the school year, (3) produce data that is useful for informing individual and classroom instruction, including the grouping of students based on such data and the selection of instructional activities based on data of individual student response patterns during such progress monitoring, [and] (4) be compatible with best practices in reading instruction and research, and (5) assist in identifying, in whole or in part, students at risk for dyslexia, as defined in section 1 of this act, or other reading-related learning disabilities.
(b) Not later than February 1,  2016, the Commissioner of Education shall submit the reading assessments developed or approved under this section to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a.
Approved June 22, 2015