14-R220

2014 H 7447

Enacted 04/29/14

H O U S E R E S O L U T I O N

CREATING A SPECIAL LEGISLATIVE COMMISSION TO ASSESS AND MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE EDUCATIONAL NEEDS OF CHILDREN WITH DYSLEXIA AND/OR READING DISABILITIES

Introduced By: Representatives Naughton, Valencia, E Coderre, and Marcello

Date Introduced: February 12, 2014

 

WHEREAS, Dyslexia is a learning disability that is neurobiological in origin and characterized by difficulties with accurate and fluent word recognition, poor spelling, and poor decoding abilities, resulting in problems with reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that impede the growth of vocabulary and background knowledge; and

WHEREAS, Dyslexia is the most common cause of reading, writing and spelling disabilities. According to the U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services, it is estimated that 15 percent of American students may have dyslexia. Students with dyslexia often exhibit weaknesses in underlying language skills involving processing of speech sounds (phonological) and print (orthographic) and in building brain pathways that connect speech with print; and

WHEREAS, Most students with dyslexia have limited awareness of the speech sounds in spoken words and have difficulty segmenting words into individual phonemes; and

WHEREAS, An improved awareness of and support for persons with dyslexia and improved training of educators (including teachers, education administrators, education officials, and other employees providing instruction, assessment, or special services for general, compensatory, gifted, or special education) will help students, including those with dyslexia, obtain the necessary instruction, support, skills, and resources to increase their success in school; now, therefore be it

RESOLVED, That a special legislative commission be and the same is hereby created consisting of seven (7) members: four (4) of whom shall be members of the House of Representatives, not more than three (3) from the same political party, to be appointed by the Speaker of the House; two (2) of whom shall be parents of a child with diagnosed dyslexia, to be appointed by the Speaker of the House; and one of whom shall be the Rhode Island Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education, or designee.

In lieu of any appointment of a member of the legislature to a permanent advisory commission, a legislative study commission, or any commission created by a General Assembly resolution, the appointing authority may appoint a member of the general public to serve in lieu of a legislator, provided that the majority leader or the minority leader of the political party which is entitled to the appointment consents to the member of the general public.

The purpose of said commission shall be to conduct a comprehensive study of the implications and consequences of dyslexia and to provide a comprehensive report with recommendations to the General Assembly on the educational needs of children with reading disabilities and dyslexia and all aspects of providing education to these children.

Forthwith upon passage of this resolution, the members of the commission shall meet on or before August 2014, and organize and shall select a chairperson from among the legislators.

Five (5) members shall constitute a quorum for purposes of approving recommendations and/or the commission report or other action items.

Vacancies in said commission shall be filled in like manner as the original appointment.

The membership of said commission shall receive no compensation for their services.

All departments and agencies of the state, shall furnish such advice and information, documentary and otherwise, to said commission and its agents as is deemed necessary or desirable by the commission to facilitate the purposes of this resolution.

The Speaker of the House is hereby authorized and directed to provide suitable quarters for said commission; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the commission shall report its findings and recommendations to the House of Representatives no later than January 30, 2015, and said commission shall expire on March 30, 2015.

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LC003481
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