State of Washington
65th Legislature
2018 Regular Session
By Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education (originally sponsored by Senators Zeiger, Wellman, Palumbo, and Mullet)
AN ACT Relating to defining dyslexia as a specific learning disability and requiring early screening for dyslexia; amending RCW 28A.710.040; adding new sections to chapter 28A.155 RCW; and adding new sections to chapter 28A.300 RCW.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  A new section is added to chapter 28A.155 RCW to read as follows:
For the purposes of sections 2 through 5 of this act and RCW 28A.710.040 "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.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.  A new section is added to chapter 28A.155 RCW to read as follows:
(1) Each school district must screen every student in kindergarten, first, and second grade for indications of dyslexia. The screening tools used must exemplify best practices.
(2) School districts may, but are not required to, use the free screening tools and resources identified by the superintendent of public instruction in accordance with section 3 of this act.
(3) If a student shows indicators of below grade level literacy development or indicators of dyslexia, the school must provide interventions based on the school's system of support.
(4) Parents and families must be notified of the interventions being offered to their student and whether the student continues to show below grade level literacy development or indicators of dyslexia. Upon parental consultation and consent, a student can be referred for further evaluation.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.  A new section is added to chapter 28A.300 RCW to read as follows:
(1) The superintendent of public instruction with input from the dyslexia education advisory council that is reconvened in accordance with section 4 of this act, must determine which screening tools meet the developmental and academic criteria to indicate typical literacy development and dyslexia.
(2) Starting at the beginning of the 2019-20 school year, the superintendent of public instruction must host on the agency's web site, literacy screeners to be used by school districts in grades K-2.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4.  A new section is added to chapter 28A.300 RCW to read as follows:
(1) The superintendent of public instruction shall reconvene a dyslexia advisory council to advise the superintendent on matters relating to dyslexia. The council must include interested stakeholders.
(2) The council must meet quarterly and serve without compensation for a term of three years. When the council member's term expires, the superintendent must appoint a replacement.
(3) The council must submit an annual report to the house of representatives and senate education committees that:
(a) Includes the number of students screened and the number of students identified with weakness in key areas that are associated with characteristics of dyslexia or reading difficulties who were provided with intervention services;
(b) Includes descriptions from school districts on types of interventions used and rates of progress, when available; and
(c) Does not include identifying information on individual students.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 5.  A new section is added to chapter 28A.300 RCW to read as follows:
(1) The superintendent of public instruction may adopt rules to implement sections 1 through 4 of this act.
(2) The rules may include, but are not limited to, the following:
(a) A timeline for school districts and charter schools to implement the screenings required under section 2 of this act;
(b) The frequency for conducting the screenings;
(c) The knowledge and skills that must be assessed; and
(d) The members and scope of work for the dyslexia advisory council.
Sec. 6.  RCW 28A.710.040 and 2016 c 241 s 104 are each amended to read as follows:
(1) A charter school must operate according to the terms of its charter contract and the provisions of this chapter.
(2) A charter school must:
(a) Comply with local, state, and federal health, safety, parents' rights, civil rights, and nondiscrimination laws applicable to school districts and to the same extent as school districts, including but not limited to chapter 28A.642 RCW (discrimination prohibition) and chapter 28A.640 RCW (sexual equality);
(b) Provide a program of basic education, that meets the goals in RCW 28A.150.210, including instruction in the essential academic learning requirements, and participate in the statewide student assessment system as developed under RCW 28A.655.070;
(c) Comply with the dyslexia screening requirements of section 2 of this act;
(d) Employ certificated instructional staff as required in RCW 28A.410.025. Charter schools, however, may hire noncertificated instructional staff of unusual competence and in exceptional cases as specified in RCW 28A.150.203(7);
(((d))) (e) Comply with the employee record check requirements in RCW 28A.400.303;
(((e))) (f) Adhere to generally accepted accounting principles and be subject to financial examinations and audits as determined by the state auditor, including annual audits for legal and fiscal compliance;
(((f))) (g) Comply with the annual performance report under RCW 28A.655.110;
(((g))) (h) Be subject to the performance improvement goals adopted by the state board of education under RCW 28A.305.130;
(((h))) (i) Comply with the open public meetings act in chapter 42.30 RCW and public records requirements in chapter 42.56 RCW; and
(((i))) (j) Be subject to and comply with legislation enacted after December 6, 2012, that governs the operation and management of charter schools.
(3) Charter public schools must comply with all state statutes and rules made applicable to the charter school in the school's charter contract, and are subject to the specific state statutes and rules identified in subsection (2) of this section. For the purpose of allowing flexibility to innovate in areas such as scheduling, personnel, funding, and educational programs to improve student outcomes and academic achievement, charter schools are not subject to, and are exempt from, all other state statutes and rules applicable to school districts and school district boards of directors. Except as provided otherwise by this chapter or a charter contract, charter schools are exempt from all school district policies.
(4) A charter school may not engage in any sectarian practices in its educational program, admissions or employment policies, or operations.
(5) Charter schools are subject to the supervision of the superintendent of public instruction and the state board of education, including accountability measures, to the same extent as other public schools, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.
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