Friday, February 22, 2008

Dyslexia Assistance Bill Gets Okay From House Committee

A bill that would provide resources to help teachers identify dyslexic students, and to teach them to read, passed the House Education Committee Thursday.

HB 1223, sponsored by Rep. Michael Merrifield, D-Colorado Springs, requires the state's Department of Education to provide technical assistance and training to school districts, local educational facilities and other school units.

“Effectively addressing dyslexia is one of the keys to reaching Governor Ritter’s goals of increasing the literacy rate and cutting our drop-out rate in half in the next 10 years,” Merrifield said in a news release issued by the House Democratic Caucus. “If we are serious about developing a well-educated workforce in Colorado for strong economic development in the 21st century, we must attend to the needs of our many dyslexic students.”

Merrifield also said that estimates indicate about 100,000 Colorado children are dyslexic, which adds up to about one of every five kids in each classroom.

The bill also applies to other conditions that cause children to have difficulty learning to read.