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Section 3323.25 | Pilot project to provide early screening and intervention services for children with risk factors for dyslexia.

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(A) The superintendent of public instruction shall establish a pilot project to provide early screening and intervention services for children with risk factors for dyslexia, including low phonemic awareness. The state superintendent shall select three school districts to participate in the pilot project, one of which shall be located in an urban setting, one of which shall be located in a suburban setting, and one of which shall be located in a rural setting. Any school district selected to participate in the pilot project may establish a partnership with a regional library or library system for purposes of the pilot project. To be considered for the pilot project, a school district shall submit a proposal to the state superintendent that identifies a method of screening children for low phonemic awareness and other risk factors for dyslexia, provides for the enrollment of children identified as having risk factors for dyslexia in a reading program staffed by teachers trained in multisensory structured language programs, and includes a methodology for evaluating the effects of the reading program on the children's identified risk factors. The pilot project shall operate for three full school years, beginning with the school year that begins at least three months after the effective date of this section.

The goal of the pilot project shall be to demonstrate and evaluate the effectiveness of early reading assistance programs for children with risk factors for dyslexia and to evaluate whether those programs can reduce future special education costs.

The state superintendent shall apply for private and other nonstate funds, and shall use available state funds appropriated to the department of education for the pilot project.

The state superintendent shall establish guidelines and procedures for the pilot project.

The state superintendent shall consult with the international dyslexia association or any other nationally recognized organization that specializes in multisensory structured language programs for the treatment of dyslexia in establishing and operating the pilot project.

(B) Under the pilot project, each participating school district, through early childhood reading instruction and reading assistance programs, shall screen children six years of age or younger for indications of dyslexia, provide appropriate reading intervention services for those children suspected of having dyslexia, and administer assessments, approved by the state superintendent, to ascertain whether the intervention services improve those students' reading and learning. When a child is suspected of having dyslexia, the district shall notify the child's parent or guardian of that fact and that the child, as part of the pilot project, is eligible to receive reading intervention services to measure the effectiveness of early reading assistance programs. The district shall require the parent or guardian to indicate in writing that the parent or guardian voluntarily and knowingly consents to the child's participation in the pilot project for the provision of reading intervention services. Each district shall provide to the parents of children suspected of having dyslexia information about the learning disability, recommended multisensory treatments, and possible services under this chapter.

Each participating school district also shall report annually to the state superintendent data about the operation and results of the pilot project, as required by the superintendent in the manner prescribed by the superintendent.

(C) Not later than the thirty-first day of December of the third school year in which the pilot project is operating, the state superintendent shall submit a report to the general assembly, in accordance with section 101.68 of the Revised Code, containing the superintendent's evaluation of the results of the pilot project and legislative recommendations whether to continue, expand, or make changes to the pilot project.

(D) As used in this section, "dyslexia" means a specific learning disorder that is neurological in origin and that is characterized by unexpected difficulties with accurate or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities not consistent with the person's intelligence, motivation, and sensory capabilities, which difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language.

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