17:24.11     Universal dyslexia screening and intervention;  early elementary grades;  pilot project


A.  Not later than January 30, 2009, the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education shall develop, adopt, and provide for the implementation of a pilot program to provide for universal screening of students in prekindergarten through third grade for characteristics of dyslexia and related disorders.  If no monies are appropriated in Fiscal Year 2008-2009 for the pilot program, the board shall begin development and implementation of the pilot program in any subsequent fiscal year in which monies are appropriated for such purpose.


B. The Department of Education shall invite each city, parish, or other local public school system to submit a proposal to participate in the pilot program.  The department shall evaluate each proposal and make recommendations for approval by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education of the maximum number of eligible proposals which can be funded from monies appropriated for this purpose.


C. The pilot program shall include but not be limited to the following components:


(1) Universal screening for students in prekindergarten through third grade at specified intervals, but not less than twice per year.  However, no child shall be screened if his parent or guardian objects to such screening.


(2) Periodic progress monitoring of every student identified with characteristics of dyslexia or a related disorder to assess progress toward established educational goals.


(3) Implementation of appropriate remediation or intervention strategies to address any academic need or deficiency identified through the screening process or periodic progress monitoring.  To the maximum extent possible, such remediation and intervention strategies shall utilize a multi-tiered model structured to provide research-based instruction in a general education setting.


(4) Training and professional development to provide teachers with the knowledge and skills necessary to implement specialized instructional interventions and strategies for students with characteristics of dyslexia and related disorders.


D. Each school system selected to participate in the pilot program shall arrange for an external performance evaluation to be conducted at the conclusion of the first full year of the pilot program to assess the effectiveness of the program in the early identification of students with characteristics of dyslexia and related disorders and in meeting the educational needs of such children.


E. Based upon an analysis of the periodic progress monitoring reports and the final external performance evaluation conducted in each participating school system, the Department of Education, after review and approval by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, shall submit the following reports to the Senate Committee on Education and the House Committee on Education:


(1) Not later than August 15, 2009, an interim report on the progress made by each participating school system in implementing the pilot program.


(2) Not later than March 15, 2010, a comprehensive final report which shall include a determination of whether the program should be implemented on a statewide basis.


F. The State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education shall adopt such rules and regulations as are necessary to implement the provisions of this Section in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act.  [FN1]


G.  In addition to any funds which may be provided by the legislature, participating school systems may seek and accept gifts, grants, and donations, including federal funds, from any available source.

Added by Acts 2007, No. 217, § 1, eff. July 2, 2007.  Amended by Acts 2008, No. 776, § 1, eff. July 6, 2008.