LDA of Michigan and our state partners are working to make sure our Representatives understand what Senate Bills 380-383 will mean for Michigan’s children. Michigan can do better for our children with characteristics of reading disabilities like dyslexia!
September 22, 2022
We are reaching out to you today in support of SB 380-383, otherwise known as the Dyslexia Package. The vision of the Learning Disabilities Association of Michigan (LDA MI) is that the causes of learning disabilities, like dyslexia, will be understood and addressed so individuals with LD can thrive and participate fully in society. Our membership consists of parents, educators, adults with LD, service providers, and other professionals.
- 1 in 5 children in the U.S. have learning or attention issues like dyslexia (NCLD, 2017).
- That equates to approximately 289,000 students with learning or attention issues in Michigan classrooms (2021-2022).
- 26% of all students who received Special Education services in 2021-2022 (203,585) were eligible under the category of Specific Learning Disability (54,238).
- Students with reading disabilities such as dyslexia make up the majority of those students.
- The graduation rate for students with disabilities is 56.99% as compared to 83.59% for students without disabilities.
- 12.70% of students with disabilities drop out of high school as compared to 6.98% of students without disabilities.
This data does not account for any of those students who receive accommodations through a 504 plan or who have not been appropriately identified, so we know there are many more students in Michigan with dyslexia, or a similar learning disability, who may be unnecessarily marginalized in our current education system.
SB 380-383 will change the Revised School Code to require:
- identification of children with the characteristics of dyslexia in grades K-3 utilizing a reliable and valid universal screening, rather than the current model which is based on “wait to fail” or utilizing inconsistent screening tools
- training for future and current educators related to the characteristics and accommodations for students with dyslexia and including reading instruction grounded in cognitive research
- the creation of an advisory board within the Michigan Dept. of Education that will develop or adopt a dyslexia guidebook for use by schools across Michigan
Passing legislation to address these issues is key to helping children across Michigan fulfill their potential. Forty-two states currently have statutes, regulations, or pilot programs in place specific to supporting students with dyslexia. Michigan is one of only eight states that currently have no policy in statute or code that focuses on early identification of and support for students demonstrating characteristics of dyslexia.
In “The Path Forward Strategic Action Plan” (2020), the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) presented a call to action: “We can, we must, we will do better for our children with disabilities and their families both in the short term and long term”.
We believe that the passing of these bills is one way to do better for ALL of Michigan’s children, especially those with learning disabilities like dyslexia and we ask you to help move this legislation forward this fall.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Amy Barto, M.Ed.
President, Learning Disabilities Association of Michigan