Sources of Revenue:

Other Fund N/A

Legislation creates:

Neither Program nor Fund

Fiscal Note Summary

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

    The purpose of this bill is to require the Department of Education to require and assist county boards of education to screen and assess students in kindergarten and new enrollees in grades 1 through 6 who have not been screened for dyslexia and other reading disabilities; and to require districts to intervene in order to help them overcome the disability.
    This bill requires each county board of education to screen every kindergarten student for dyslexia and other reading disabilities. Screening also is required for students who would have been enrolled in kindergarten during or after 2015-2016 who enroll in grades one through six after the effective date of legislation, if they have not previously been screened. Teachers or other teaching staff properly trained in the screening process will conduct the screening. If the screening reveals indicators of dyslexia or reading disability, the county board must conduct a comprehensive assessment and if a diagnosis is confirmed must provide intervention including intense instruction on phonemic awareness, phonics and fluency, vocabulary and reading comprehension.
    The West Virginia Department of Education is required to provide information to the counties regarding appropriate screening instruments and guidance on appropriate intervention strategies.

Fiscal Note Detail

Effect of Proposal Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year
(Upon Full
1. Estmated Total Cost 0 605,430 129,580
Personal Services 0 0 0
Current Expenses 0 0 0
Repairs and Alterations 0 0 0
Assets 0 0 0
Other 0 605,430 129,580
2. Estimated Total Revenues 0 0 0

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

    This bill poses no additional cost to the West Virginia Department of Education. The cost would be to the county school districts, which would need to purchase screening instruments and provide training to their teachers. Current WVBE Policy 2419: Regulations for the Education of Students with Exceptionalities requires multidisciplinary evaluation and eligibility determination for students suspected of having a disability and needing special education. Because dyslexia and other reading disabilities requiring special education already are covered by this requirement, the cost of comprehensive evaluation has not been included as an additional cost.
    This fiscal note is based on the cost of an appropriate screening instrument currently used in other states, as well as by some schools within West Virginia. The instrument is the PALS - K and PALS 1-3, which provides testing materials, training and online scoring.
    The cost of either PALS - K or the PALS 1-3 is $315 per teacher, as follows: Teacher Set (materials for 25 children) at $125 each, additional consumable screening materials at $40 each. Online score entry and reporting system K-3, $50 per class of 30 students. Online tutorials for administration, score entry and reporting system, $25 each; online training to use PALS data to monitor student progress, $75.
    Total cost estimated for year 1 - $605,430
    Total cost per kindergarten classroom = $315 per class in year one. According to the certified list for FY 2014, 1086 kindergarten teachers were employed. The start-up cost of PALS for each kindergarten teacher is estimated at $315 x 1086 = $342,090. Additional cost for grades 1-3, with one kit per school: 418 elementary schools x $315 = $131,670. PALS does not offer a screening instrument for grades 4-6, however, estimating another appropriate assessment at similar cost - $131,670.
    Total cost estimated for subsequent years: In year two and subsequent years, $90 for online services and consumables plus cost of any additional online tutorials needed, estimated at $25 each = $115 per unit x 1086 kindergarten teachers = $124,890. 418 schools x 2 per school (PALS 1-3 and another assessment) x $155 (2 sets of consumables) = $129,580.
    No estimate provided for teacher and administrator time needed to administer screening, receive training and maintain records.



    Person submitting Fiscal Note: Brenda Freed
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