HCS/SB 827 - This act modifies several provisions relating to elementary and secondary education.
By July 1, 2017, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education must employ a dyslexia therapist, licensed psychometrist, licensed speech-language pathologist, certified academic language therapist, or certified training specialist with a minimum of three years of field experience in screening, identifying, and treating dyslexia. This individual will serve as the Department's dyslexia specialist. The dyslexia specialist must be certified from a program approved by the Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia. Duties of the dyslexia specialist are described in the act. (Section 161.1005)
This provision is identical to a provision contained in HB 1611 (2016), HCS/HB 1928 (2016), SB 633 (2016), SB 764 (2016) and is substantially similar to SB 548 (2015) and a provision contained in HCS/HB 921 (2015).
This act creates the Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia. The Task Force will advise and make recommendations to the Governor, General Assembly, and relevant state agencies. The Task Force will consist of seventeen members, as described in the act. Except for four legislative members and the Commissioner of Education, the members will be appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The task force will make recommendations for a statewide system for identification, intervention, and delivery of supports for students with dyslexia, as described in the act.
The Task Force will hire or contract for hire specialist services to support the work of the Task Force as necessary with appropriations or from other available funding.
The Task Force will terminate on August 31, 2018, unless reauthorized. (633.420)
This provision is substantially similar to provisions contained in HCS/SCS/SB 904 (2016), CCS/HCS/SB 635 (2016), CCS/SCS/SB 638 (2016), HCS/HB 1928 (2016), SCS/HCS/HB 2379 (2016), SB 548 (2015) and HCS/HB 921 (2015).
TRAUMA-INFORMED SCHOOLS INITIATIVE
This act establishes the Trauma-Informed Schools Initiative. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) shall provide information regarding the trauma-informed approach, as described in the act, to all school districts, offer training on the trauma-informed approach to all school districts, and develop an informational website about the Trauma-Informed Schools Initiative.
Subject to appropriations, this act also establishes the Trauma-Informed Schools Pilot Program, under which DESE shall choose five schools to receive intensive training, as described in the act, on the trauma-informed approach. The schools shall be chosen as described in the act.
DESE shall terminate the pilot program on August 28, 2019. By December 21, 2019, DESE shall submit a report to the General Assembly containing the results of the program, including any benefits experience by the participating schools.
The pilot program shall be funded through the Trauma-Informed Schools Pilot Program Fund, which is created by the act.
This provisions are identical to HCS/HBs 2565 & 2564 (2016) and to provisions contained in HCS/HB 1928 (2016) and CCS/SCS/SB 638 (2016).
This act prohibits school districts from determining whether a child is gifted based on the child's participation in an advanced placement course or international baccalaureate course. Whether a child is gifted must be determined using the statutory definition of "gifted children".
Beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, this act also reduces a district's funding as described in the act when it experiences a decrease in its gifted program enrollment of 20% or more from the previous school year. This provision shall not apply to school districts with an average daily attendance of three hundred fifty or less.
This provision shall be effective July 1, 2017.
These provisions are substantially similar to SCS/SB 904 (2016) and HCS/HB 1419 (2016), and to provisions contained in HCS/SCS/SB 996 (2016), HCS/HB 1943 (2016), CCS/SCS/SB 638 (2016), HCS/SB 113 (2015), SB 290 (2015), and HB 637 (2015).
This act changes the term "guidance counselor" to "school counselor" in laws relating to elementary and secondary education. (Sections 168.303 and 168.520)
These provisions are identical to HB 2428 (2016) and to provisions contained in HB 1611 (2016) and HCS/HB 1928 (2016).
ACADEMIC AND CAREER COUNSELING
This act allows a school district or charter school to establish an academic and career counseling program in cooperation with parents and the local community. By January 1, 2017, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shall develop a process for recognition of a school district's program. (Section 167.266)
This provision is identical to a provision contained in HB 1611 (2016) and HCS/HB 1928 (2016), and is substantially similar to HCS/HB 382 (2015).