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Galveston, TX: $1.7M dyslexia funding; all teachers will be trained

Galveston ISD and its new system to help dyslexic students deserves kudos.

A new state law combined with a $1.7 million grant from The Moody Foundation are helping to establish additional support, evaluation and identification when it comes to the learning disability.

More teachers will be certified as academic language therapists, which means they can help students by providing “multi-sensory language instruction combining listening, speaking, reading and activity senses.”

There are also new grievance procedures for parents to dispute their child’s evaluation or services received and tighter requirements for evaluation and diagnosis.

Sondra Harrington, lead dyslexia specialist at the school district, said much of the new bill revolves around evaluating and identifying dyslexia.

All school districts in the state must abide by the new law, which went into effect on June 10, but Galveston ISD is the only district thus far to have received funding to fully cover the cost, thanks to the Moody Foundation….

Galveston ISD isn’t just adhering to the new state law, but providing a more inclusive, supportive learning environment for every student.

All 295 teachers in the district will receive training, an investment that signifies a sincere commitment to inclusive education, as well as acknowledging the difference that informed teachers make in the lives of their students. …

Education Week, a nonprofit news organization that covers education, reported “early identification of struggling readers and subsequent prevention programs can reduce by up to 70 percent the number of children placed in special education.”

It also noted that “interventions for struggling readers that start in 4th grade take four times longer than those that start in late kindergarten.”…

While all students in Texas are currently tested for dyslexia and related disorders in kindergarten and first grade, the new law will help ensure students don’t fall through the cracks if their learning disability isn’t caught at that time.

Though in part because of the new state law, we must commend Galveston ISD for taking such a strong stand in getting their teachers certified, and we must commend the Moody Foundation for the funding to do so.

The resulting education will be monumentally helpful for all students — and especially those who need some extra help — to succeed in the classroom and beyond.


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