Sources of Revenue:

General Fund

Legislation creates:

A New Program

Fiscal Note Summary

Effect this measure will have on costs and revenues of state government.

    The purpose of this bill is to The purpose of this bill is to establish two pilot programs in three school districts within the state to educate teachers on recognizing and adapting to children with dyslexia in order to improve the education of children with dyslexia. The bill in 18-2-36a establishes a definition of dyslexia, which is a specific learning disorder characterized by difficulties in accurate or fluent word recognition and poor spelling and decoding involving a deficit in the phonological component of language, which is neurological in origin and inconsistent with intelligence, motivation or sensory capabilities. The first three-year pilot would require the participating three districts to provide early phonemic awareness screening and intervention for students at risk ages 6 and under and to provide a reading program staffed by teachers trained in multisensory structured language programs and to evaluate the effects of the reading program on the children's risk factors. Parent notice and consent for participation in the program would be required. The State Superintendent shall apply for private and other nonstate funds and shall use available state funds appropriated to the Department of Education for the pilot project, develop guidelines and consult with an organization(s) that specializes in multisensory structured language programs for the treatment of dyslexia in establishing and operating the project. Reports to the State Superintendent and the Legislative Oversight Committee on Education Accountability on the effect of the projects on diagnosing and treating children with risk factors for dyslexia are required.
    The second pilot project requires a dyslexia teacher training pilot program to educate teachers on recognizing and adapting to children with risk factors for dyslexia. Three school districts and one or more institutions of higher education will provide K-4 teachers (continued)and teacher candidates in the selected districts/IHEs programs or institutes on the indicators of dyslexia and the types of instruction that children with risk factors for dyslexia need to learn, read, write and spell, including multisensory structured language programs. Reporting and program evaluation is required. The goal of this pilot project is to demonstrate and evaluate the effectiveness of training teachers to provide early reading assistance programs for children with risk factors for dyslexia and to evaluate whether the early assistance programs can reduce future special education costs.
    These pilot projects represent two research projects in three districts and one or more institutions of higher education, requiring extensive commitment of resources but providing no additional source of funding. These projects would be funded through the existing WVDE state funds and any additional outside grants the WVDE could obtain. Project activities in some ways duplicate current screening and intervention programs already in place for students K-4 and other projects that have been implemented over the past several years primarily for K-4 programs, such as Reading First, funded through multi-million dollar federal grants, and response to intervention (now Support for Personalized Learning). Additionally, Early Learning Scales assessment for children ages 3-4 assesses
    phonemic awareness.

Fiscal Note Detail

Effect of Proposal Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year
(Upon Full
1. Estmated Total Cost 0 1,193,000 832,000
Personal Services 0 50,000 0
Current Expenses 0 1,133,020 22,000
Repairs and Alterations 0 0 0
Assets 0 0 0
Other 0 10,000 10,000
2. Estimated Total Revenues 0 0 0

Explanation of above estimates (including long-range effect):

    Pilot 1 would require WVDE staff time to complete guidelines, accept and review LEA application and select participants. Extensive training for participating teachers, including follow-up training and support to ensure implementation, would need to be provided by WVDE staff and contractors familiar with the specific programs and materials required. Staff time from the research office to evaluate the effects would be needed. Pilot 1 is budgeted for three years, and includes .5 FTE state staff ($50,000) and $20,000 for evaluation/reporting. Remaining for LEA staff/training: 1 teacher each per 15 schools ($750,000 x 3 years), materials - $30,000 year 1, $15,000 thereafter., professional development (stipends, trainers, travel) $44,000 in year 1; $22,000 thereafter.
    For budget purposes, it is estimated that up to 50% of students in each of 15 participating schools ages 3-6 would need initial intervention. Some structures are in place but additional staff would be needed (1 per school and WVDE staff for coordination, evaluation and reporting). Professional development for teachers relative to multisensory structured language programs and provision of a specific type of language/reading instruction to identified students is budgeted, including instructional materials. Additionally, in Pilot 2, a teacher training program specific to this type of disability and specific instructional approach is required for selected in-service teachers and pre-service teacher candidates. This budget is based on training 320 teachers in a four-day summer institute, including, trainers, stipends, meals, lodging and travel for participants, materials (total cost estimate $309,000) . Only one year was budgeted for this pilot.
    It should be noted that public schools do not serve students below age 3, and that in past years similar projects have been implemented and evaluated by WVDE for K-3. Current Support for Personalized Learning initiative already addresses low reading achievement, although not specific methodology. The current definition of specific learning disabilities under WV Board Policy 2419 includes dyslexia.
    WVDE currently requires Support for Personalized Learning and assesses phonemic awareness in PreK children participating in programs. Support for Personalized Learning (response to intervention) process under Policy 2419 currently requires screening beginning in kindergarten that would include phonemic awareness and requires interventions/instruction be provided to students identified with needs through the screening process. WVDE gives flexibility to districts in determining the methodology for addressing these needs, and some districts currently are using multisensory language programs. Available state funds are supporting current requirements but are not sufficient to expand beyond the scope of children currently served by public schools or to provide extensive professional development in a particular method, even though the results could be beneficial if funded.



    Person submitting Fiscal Note: Brenda Freed
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