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Time is Running Out for the Reading & Dyslexia Handbook

Take Action Now!

Your Voice is Needed to Ensure the Reading & Dyslexia Handbook Bill Passes the Senate Before 4.12.21

A Reading & Dyslexia Handbook is an essential tool that can help school districts develop budgets and programs to close opportunity gaps & support positive student outcomes. It’s a win-win for parents, students and school systems.

Officially titled “The Early Literacy and Dyslexia Practices - Guidance and Assistance,” HB 237 & SB 126 are a cost-effective way to provide guidance to school districts who are charged with making decisions on screening and interventions for reading.

The Maryland Legislature just passed a budget that includes $171.5 million to provide Maryland students with small group reading instruction to help close reading opportunity gaps. Another $2.5 billion in federal education COVID recovery block grants will be available for professional learning, screening, instruction and interventions for students.

Status

The Reading and Dyslexia Handbook bill (HB 237) passed the House of Delegates unanimously in February. Hearings were held in both the Senate and the House in late January and at this point House Bill 237 needs to be voted out of the Senate Education Committee (EHEA) so it can be voted on by the whole Senate -- otherwise it will die in the Senate Committee on Education, Health and Environmental Affairs (EHEA).

The Legislature will ADJOURN April 12th -- time is of the essence.

  • Please email, call or meet with your Senator as early as possible this week (April 5-12)

  • Education bills are typically considered on Tuesday (April 6); if you can contact your Senator by or before Tuesday, that would be ideal.

  • If you cannot send an email before Tuesday, April 6th, an email or call no later than April 9th would still be very helpful.

Take Action Now! Click for the Legislative Action Toolkit

This Legislation is Critical

  • ~60% of students in Maryland need the opportunity to learn to read well.

  • Student subgroups, pre-pandemic, were ~80-90% below proficient compared to their peers — this is unacceptable.

  • Maryland allocated $171.5 million to address reading to accelerate learning and to address student “learning loss” and opportunity gaps for struggling students. Another 2.1 billion dollars in education block grants is expected to be disbursed to local school districts to address COVID recovery, including reading and literacy.

  • Supports Parents & Students: When schools closed in March 2020, schools relied on parents to help students learn to read. This bill provides an avenue for parents to learn about early literacy and reading so they can work collaboratively with their schools to close opportunity gaps & improve student reading outcomes.

  • Supports Schools & Students: Provides a cost-effective way for MSDE & stakeholders to develop & disseminate early literacy best practices to schools, teachers and parents.

  • Supports Wise Spending & Decision Making: A reading and dyslexia best practices road map will help districts navigate the implementation of evidence based instruction and interventions and avoid potholes along the way.

  • Dyslexia: Maryland DOES NOT address reading and dyslexia best practices in the general education setting where most students with dyslexia are educated. Although the Ready to Read Act of 2019 addresses reading screening and interventions for all students, it does not address how districts, schools and parents can work together to meet the needs of students at risk for dyslexia or with dyslexia in the general education population.

Infographic Link

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