Bill Text: AZ SB1544 | 2020 | Fifty-fourth Legislature 2nd Regular | Introduced


Bill Title: Schools; dyslexia; literacy; appropriations

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Republican 3-1)

Status: (Introduced - Dead) 2020-02-18 - Senate ED Committee action: Do Pass, voting: (6-1-2-0) [SB1544 Detail]

Download: Arizona-2020-SB1544-Introduced.html

 

 

 

REFERENCE TITLE: schools; dyslexia; literacy; appropriations

 

 

 

 

State of Arizona

Senate

Fifty-fourth Legislature

Second Regular Session

2020

 

 

 

SB 1544

 

Introduced by

Senators Borrelli: Carter, Kerr; Representative Pawlik

 

 

AN ACT

 

amending sections 15-211 and 15-704, Arizona Revised Statutes; appropriating monies; relating to literacy.

 

 

(TEXT OF BILL BEGINS ON NEXT PAGE)

 


Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:

Section 1.  Section 15-211, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

START_STATUTE15-211.  K-3 reading program; dyslexia specialist; dyslexia training; receipt and use of monies; additional funding; report; program termination

A.  The department of education shall administer a K‑3 reading program to improve the reading proficiency of pupils in kindergarten programs and grades one, two and three in the public schools of this state.

B.  The department of education shall designate a dyslexia specialist for the department to provide school districts and charter schools with support and resources that are necessary to assist students with dyslexia.

C.  On or before July 1, 2021 2022, each school district and charter school shall ensure that at least one kindergarten through third grade teacher in each school has received training related to dyslexia that complies with the requirements prescribed in section 15‑219.

D.  Each school district and charter school shall submit to the department of education a plan for improving the reading proficiency of the school district's or the charter school's pupils in kindergarten programs and grades one, two and three.  The plan shall include baseline data on the reading proficiency of the school district's or the charter school's pupils in kindergarten programs and grades one, two and three and a budget for spending monies from both the K‑3 support level weight and the K‑3 reading support level weight established in section 15‑943. Each school district and charter school shall annually submit to the department of education on or before October 1 an updated K‑3 reading program plan that includes data on program expenditures and results, except that a school district or charter school that is assigned a letter grade of A or B pursuant to section 15‑241 shall submit this plan only in odd-numbered years.

E.  School districts and charter schools shall use monies generated by the K‑3 reading support level weight established in section 15‑943 only on instructional purposes based on the plan submitted pursuant to subsection D of this section intended to improve reading proficiency for pupils in kindergarten programs and grades one, two and three with particular emphasis on pupils in kindergarten programs and grades one and two.

F.  Each school district and charter school that is assigned a letter grade of C, D or F pursuant to section 15‑241 or that has more than ten percent of its pupils in grade three who do not demonstrate sufficient reading skills as established by the state board of education according to the reading portion of the statewide assessment shall receive monies generated by the K‑3 reading support level weight established in section 15‑943 only after the K‑3 reading program plan of the school district or charter school has been submitted, reviewed and recommended for approval by the department of education and approved by the state board.  The state board must give approval to a school district or charter school before any portion of the monies generated by the K‑3 reading support level weight may be distributed to the school district or charter school pursuant to this subsection.

G.  Pupils in a charter school that is in its first year of operation and that is sponsored by the state board of education, the state board for charter schools, a university under the jurisdiction of the Arizona board of regents, a community college district or a group of community college districts are eligible for the K-3 reading support level weight.

H.  The department of education shall solicit gifts, grants and donations from any lawful public or private source in order to provide additional funding for the K‑3 reading program.

I.  The state board of education may establish rules and policies for the K‑3 reading program, including:

1.  The proper use of monies in accordance with subsection E of this section.

2.  The distribution of monies by the department of education in accordance with subsection D of this section.

3.  The compliance of reading proficiency plans submitted pursuant to subsection D of this section with section 15‑704.

J.  Pursuant to subsection I of this section, the department of education shall develop program implementation guidance for school districts and charter schools to assist schools in administering an effective K‑3 evidence‑based reading program plan.  This guidance shall include identifying and recommending appropriate program expenditures, providing technical oversight and assistance for annually updating reading program plans, selecting and adopting evidence-based reading curricula and providing and promoting teacher professional development that is based on evidence‑based reading research. The department shall prioritize supports and interventions, including enrollment in reading trainings and professional development, for school districts and charter schools that have the highest percentage of pupils who do not demonstrate sufficient reading skills as established by the state board of education.  The department shall deposit any monies received for offering reading trainings or professional development, including coaching, in the department of education professional development revolving fund established by section 15‑237.01.

K.  On or before December 15, the department of education shall submit an annual report on the K‑3 reading program to the governor, the president of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives and shall provide a copy of this annual report to the secretary of state, the state board of education and the chairpersons of the education committees of the senate and the house of representatives.  The report shall contain all of the following:

1.  Information on the improvement of K‑3 reading in this state, including achievement data statewide and achievement data at the school district and charter school level.  The information pursuant to this paragraph shall include data and information on continued proficiency on the statewide assessment in subsequent grades.

2.  A description of the activities of the department to support school districts and charter schools in improving K‑3 reading.

3.  Specific findings on methods by which the department may continue to improve support and assistance for school districts and charter schools in the administration of K‑3 reading program plans.

4.  Information and data on K‑3 reading program plans throughout this state and the expenditure of K‑3 reading monies by school districts and charter schools.

5.  Data reported pursuant to section 15‑701, subsection A, paragraph 2, subdivision (d).

L.  The program established by this section ends on July 1, 2022 pursuant to section 41‑3102. END_STATUTE

Sec. 2.  Section 15-704, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

START_STATUTE15-704.  Reading proficiency; dyslexia screening plan; definitions

A.  Each school district or charter school that provides instruction in kindergarten programs and grades one through three shall select and administer screening, ongoing diagnostic and classroom‑based instructional reading assessments, including a motivational assessment, as defined by the state board of education, to monitor student progress.  Each school shall use the diagnostic information to plan evidence‑based appropriate and effective instruction and intervention.

B.  On or before July 1, 2020 2021, the department of education shall develop a dyslexia screening plan that meets all of the following requirements:

1.  Ensures that within forty‑five calendar days after the beginning of each school year or within forty‑five calendar days after a student enrollment occurs after the first day of school, every student who is enrolled in a kindergarten program or grade one in a public school in this state is screened for indicators of dyslexia.

2.  Provides guidance for notifications sent by public schools to parents of students who are identified as having indicators of dyslexia based on a screening for indicators.

3.  Is developed collaboratively with the dyslexia specialist for the department designated pursuant to section 15‑211, and other experts on dyslexia, including representatives in this state of an international organization on dyslexia.

4.  Ensures that screening for indicators of dyslexia includes the following:

(a)  Phonological and phonemic awareness.

(b)  Rapid naming skills.

(c)  Correspondence between sounds and letters.

(d)  Nonsense word repetition fluency.

(e)  Sound symbol recognition.

C.  The screening for indicators of dyslexia may be integrated with reading proficiency screenings as prescribed in this section.

D.  Each school district or charter school that provides instruction for pupils in kindergarten programs and grades one through three shall conduct a curriculum evaluation and adopt an evidence‑based reading curriculum that includes the essential components of reading instruction. All school districts and charter schools that offer instruction in kindergarten programs and grades one through three shall provide ongoing teacher training based on evidence‑based reading research.

E.  Each school district or charter school that provides instruction in kindergarten programs and grades one through three shall devote reasonable amounts of time to explicit evidence‑based instruction and independent reading in grades one through three.

F.  A pupil in grade three who does not demonstrate proficiency on the reading standards measured by the statewide assessment administered pursuant to section 15‑741 shall be provided core reading instruction and intensive, evidence‑based reading instruction as defined by the state board of education until the pupil meets these standards.

G.  The governing board of each school district and the governing body of each charter school shall determine the percentage of pupils at each school in grade three who do not demonstrate proficiency on the reading standards prescribed by the state board of education and measured by the statewide assessment administered pursuant to section 15‑741.  If more than twenty percent of students in grade three at either the individual school level or at the school district level do not demonstrate proficiency on the standards, the governing board or governing body shall conduct a review of its reading program that includes curriculum and professional development in light of current, evidence‑based reading research.

H.  Based on the review required in subsection G of this section, the governing board or governing body and the school principal of each school that does not demonstrate proficiency on the reading standards, in conjunction with school council members, if applicable, shall develop methods of best practices for teaching reading based on essential components of reading instruction and supported by evidence‑based reading research. These methods shall be adopted at a public meeting and shall be implemented the following academic year.

I.  Subsections G and H of this section shall be coordinated with efforts to develop and implement an improvement plan if required pursuant to section 15‑241.02.

J.  For the purposes of this section:

1.  "Essential components of reading instruction" means explicit and systematic instruction in the following:

(a)  Phonological awareness, including phonemic awareness.

(b)  Phonics encoding and decoding.

(c)  Vocabulary development.

(d)  Reading fluency as demonstrated by automatic reading of text.

(e)  Reading comprehension of written text.

(f)  Written and oral expression, including spelling and handwriting.

2.  "Evidence‑based reading research" means research that demonstrates either:

(a)  A statistically significant effect on improving student outcomes or other relevant outcomes based on either:

(i)  Strong evidence from at least one well‑designed and well‑implemented experimental study.

(ii)  Moderate evidence from at least one well‑designed and well‑implemented quasi‑experimental study.

(iii)  Promising evidence from at least one well‑designed and well‑implemented correlational study with statistical controls for selection bias.

(b)  A rationale based on high‑quality research findings or positive evaluation that an activity, strategy or intervention is likely to improve student outcomes or other relevant outcomes and that includes ongoing efforts to examine the effects of these activities, strategies or interventions.

3.  "Reading" means a complex system of deriving meaning from written text that requires all of the following:

(a)  The skills and knowledge to understand how phonemes or speech sounds are connected to written text.

(b)  The ability to decode unfamiliar words.

(c)  The ability to read fluently.

(d)  Sufficient background information and vocabulary to foster reading comprehension.

(e)  The development of appropriate active strategies to construct meaning from written text.

(f)  The development and maintenance of a motivation to read. END_STATUTE

Sec. 3.  Early literacy assessment tool; request for proposals; reports; delayed repeal; definition

A.  On or before October 1, 2020, the department of education shall issue a request for proposals to purchase an early literacy assessment tool that teachers may use to obtain real-time assessments of the reading skill levels of students enrolled in kindergarten programs and first, second and third grades and, based on the assessment results, generate intervention plans and materials. At a minimum, the request for proposals shall include provisions to purchase all of the following:

1.  Software that, at a minimum, meets all of the following requirements:

(a)  Provides individualized assessments with immediate results.

(b)  Stores and analyzes assessment results, recommends activities that are aligned with the assessment results and assists in tracking student performance and identifying strategies to improve student performance.

(c)  Provides student grouping recommendations based on the assessment scores and provides proposed lesson plans on a short-term cycle.

(d)  Assists in generating and populating individualized plans to improve students' reading skills.

2.  User training for the software described in paragraph 1 of this subsection for teachers and other personnel selected by each local education provider.

3.  A sufficient number of software licenses for each local education provider in this state to use the early literacy assessment tool in all of its kindergarten programs and first, second and third grade classes, except that the department of education may draft the contract to phase in the requirements of this paragraph over multiple budget years based on available appropriations.

B.  The department of education shall select from among the responses received and enter into a contract to purchase software licenses and training not later than March 1, 2021. In negotiating the terms of the contract, the department shall include performance measures, which may include student outcomes, as conditions affecting the amounts payable under the contract.

C.  As soon as practicable after entering into the contract, the department of education shall notify the local education providers and provide information explaining all of the following:

1.  The software licenses purchased.

2.  The availability of user training for the software, including dates, times and locations.

3.  The procedures and timelines by which each local education provider may apply to receive the software licenses and training to implement the early literacy assessment tool.

D.  Based on the level of available appropriations, the department of education shall select the local education providers that will receive the early literacy assessment tool, including the training, from among those that apply to the department in a manner prescribed by the department. In selecting the applicants, the department shall do all of the following:

1.  Select local education providers from various regions of this state and of varying student population size.

2.  Give preference to local education providers with the highest percentages of students in kindergarten programs and first, second and third grades who are below program or grade‑level expectations in reading.

3.  Give preference to local education providers with the highest percentages of schools that are eligible to receive monies under title I of the elementary and secondary education act of 1965 (P.L. 8910; 79 Stat. 27).

E.  A local education provider that is selected to receive the early literacy assessment tool in one budget year is not required to reapply in subsequent budget years.  To the extent possible within available appropriations, the department of education shall annually increase the number of local education providers that receive the early literacy assessment tool.

F.  The department of education may choose to provide the early literacy assessment tool only to those schools of a selected school district that are eligible to receive monies under title I of the elementary and secondary education act of 1965 (P.L. 8910; 79 Stat. 27).

G.  On or before September 1, 2022 and September 1, 2024, the department of education shall submit a report of its findings and recommendations to the governor, the president of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives, the chairpersons of the house of representatives and senate education committees, or their successor committees, and the joint legislative budget committee and shall provide a copy of this report to the secretary of state. The reports shall include all of the following:

1.  The percentage of students who are enrolled in kindergarten programs and first, second and third grades throughout this state and who are receiving services using the early literacy assessment tool.

2.  The number of local education providers that have received the early literacy assessment tool.

3.  The improvements, if any, in the reading skill levels of students who received or are receiving services using the early literacy assessment tool.

4.  The amount of appropriations required to purchase an adequate number of software licenses to enable the local education providers in this state to use the early literacy assessment tool in all of the kindergarten programs and first, second and third grade classes in this state.

H.  This section is repealed from and after December 31, 2025.

I.  For the purposes of this section, "local education provider" means a school district or a charter school that enrolls students in kindergarten programs and first, second and third grades.

Sec. 4.  Appropriations; department of education; dyslexia and literacy services

A.  The sum of $2,000,000 and three FTE positions are appropriated from the state general fund in fiscal year 2020‑2021 to the department of education for the following purposes:

1.  Designating a dyslexia specialist for the department of education to provide school districts and charter schools with support and resources as prescribed in section 15‑211, subsection B, Arizona Revised Statutes.

2.  Developing a list of training opportunities related to dyslexia pursuant to section 15‑219, Arizona Revised Statutes.

3.  Developing a dyslexia screening plan pursuant to section 15‑704, Arizona Revised Statutes, as amended by this act.

4.  Providing early literacy professional development to teachers across this state.

5.  Improving the reading proficiency of pupils in kindergarten programs and grades one, two and three, including administering the reading program prescribed in section 15-211, Arizona Revised Statutes, as amended by this act.

6.  Gathering, aggregating and analyzing statewide data related to early literacy and dyslexia.

B.  The sum of $2,000,000 is appropriated from the state general fund in fiscal year 2020‑2021 to the department of education for distribution to school districts and charter schools for the following purposes:

1.  Providing additional funding to support pupils with language‑based learning struggles, including dyslexia.

2.  Enhancing professional development and expanding teacher training opportunities.

3.  Improving screening measures and intervention materials.

4.  Providing intensive instruction for pupils who meet any of the following criteria:

(a)  Are eligible for special education as a pupil with a specific learning disability in reading or writing, or both.

(b)  Have a section 504 plan as defined in section 15‑731, Arizona Revised Statutes.

(c)  Have a documented diagnosis of dyslexia.

(d)  Are eligible for tier two or tier three services under the multitiered system of support.

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