Garland, TX: 'We are under-identifying, underserving, and failing our kids [with] dyslexia'

Mar 3, 2018, Plano, TX, Lakeshore Times: Garland school board receives proposal to enhance special education, dyslexia programs Debi Buchanan, Garland ISD's executive director of special education, presented an overview of the district’s special education and dyslexia programs to the Board of Trustees Tuesday night, followed by an outline proposal designed to enhance both programs moving forward. … The number of students identified with dyslexia in GISD has increased from 56 in 2011 to 586 students in 2018. “With the new state-mandated K1 dyslexia screener, next year we expect this number to increase even more,” Buchanan said. … In order to enhance dyslexia instruction in GISD she proposed hiring additional dyslexia therapists, have additional options to their dyslexia instruction, and districtwide training. She requested an amendment to the spring 2018 special education budget of $836,037, and a requested a budget of $3,095,610 for the 2018-19 school year. “Part of the plan was to start addressing the need for the identified kids that we have for dyslexia. We have about a 1 percent identification rate; the national average can be 5 percent up to 11 percent,” said Superintendent Ricardo López. “With that 1 percent we have a waiting list for services and we’re backlogged on the amount of people that are being assessed to see if they have dyslexia.”… Yearout said 20 percent of the population has dyslexia and cited a report done by the University of Texas – Galveston that shows 48 percent of Texas inmates have dyslexia, and yet the district is showing less than 1 percent. “We are under-identifying, underserving, and we’re failing our kids that have dyslexia,” he said.