Dyslexia reporting requirement clears first round

The state would collect data on students with dyslexia under a bill advanced by lawmakers Feb. 22.

Sen. Lou Ann Linehan
Sen. Lou Ann Linehan

LB298, introduced by Sen. Lou Ann Linehan of Elkhorn, would require school districts to provide information on dyslexia to the state Department of Education.

The information would include the number of students in each school district who were tested for dyslexia, those identified as exhibiting characteristics of dyslexia and those diagnosed with dyslexia who have improved their reading skills as a result of that diagnosis.

The department would be required to compile the information and provide an annual report to the Legislature.

Linehan said LB298 is intended to “bolster” existing law that requires schools to report data on specific learning disabilities, including dyslexia. She said some Nebraska students are not being diagnosed correctly as having dyslexia or receiving the specific instruction they need.

“It is more than irritating to run into families … who are still not getting the help they need and are being told by schools that they should just wait and see,” Linehan said.

Bellevue Sen. Carol Blood supported the bill, saying it would give lawmakers data they can use to make better education policy decisions.

Also in support was Sen. Justin Wayne of Omaha, who said he is concerned that schools are not already collecting data on dyslexia. He said students who cannot read at grade level by third grade often have difficulty catching up and become disengaged at school.

Senators voted 37-0 to advance LB298 to select file.

Bookmark and Share