130th Ohio General Assembly
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Sub. H. B. No. 96  As Enrolled
(129th General Assembly)
(Substitute House Bill Number 96)



AN ACT
To amend section 3323.01 and to enact section 3323.25 of the Revised Code to specify dyslexia as a specific learning disability and to require a pilot project to provide early screening and intervention services for children with risk factors for dyslexia.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio:

SECTION 1. That section 3323.01 be amended and section 3323.25 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:

Sec. 3323.01.  As used in this chapter:

(A) "Child with a disability" means a child who is at least three years of age and less than twenty-two years of age; who has mental retardation, a hearing impairment (including deafness), a speech or language impairment, a visual impairment (including blindness), a serious emotional disturbance, an orthopedic impairment, autism, traumatic brain injury, an other health impairment, a specific learning disability (including dyslexia), deaf-blindness, or multiple disabilities; and who, by reason thereof, needs special education and related services.

A "child with a disability" may include a child who is at least three years of age and less than six years of age; who is experiencing developmental delays, as defined by standards adopted by the state board of education and as measured by appropriate diagnostic instruments and procedures in one or more of the following areas: physical development, cognitive development, communication development, social or emotional development, or adaptive development; and who, by reason thereof, needs special education and related services.

(B) "County DD board" means a county board of developmental disabilities.

(C) "Free appropriate public education" means special education and related services that meet all of the following:

(1) Are provided at public expense, under public supervision and direction, and without charge;

(2) Meet the standards of the state board of education;

(3) Include an appropriate preschool, elementary, or secondary education as otherwise provided by the law of this state;

(4) Are provided for each child with a disability in conformity with the child's individualized education program.

(D) "Homeless children" means "homeless children and youths" as defined in section 725 of the "McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act," 42 U.S.C. 11434a.

(E) "Individualized education program" or "IEP" means the written statement described in section 3323.011 of the Revised Code.

(F) "Individualized education program team" or "IEP team" means a group of individuals composed of:

(1) The parents of a child with a disability;

(2) At least one regular education teacher of the child, if the child is or may be participating in the regular education environment;

(3) At least one special education teacher, or where appropriate, at least one special education provider of the child;

(4) A representative of the school district who meets all of the following:

(a) Is qualified to provide, or supervise the provision of, specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of children with disabilities;

(b) Is knowledgeable about the general education curriculum;

(c) Is knowledgeable about the availability of resources of the school district.

(5) An individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results, who may be a member of the team as described in divisions (F)(2) to (4) of this section;

(6) At the discretion of the parent or the school district, other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child, including related services personnel as appropriate;

(7) Whenever appropriate, the child with a disability.

(G) "Instruction in braille reading and writing" means the teaching of the system of reading and writing through touch commonly known as standard English braille.

(H) "Other educational agency" means a department, division, bureau, office, institution, board, commission, committee, authority, or other state or local agency, which is not a city, local, or exempted village school district or an agency administered by the department of developmental disabilities, that provides or seeks to provide special education or related services to children with disabilities. The term "other educational agency" includes a joint vocational school district.

(I) "Parent" of a child with a disability, except as used in sections 3323.09 and 3323.141 of the Revised Code, means:

(1) A natural or adoptive parent of a child but not a foster parent of a child;

(2) A guardian, but not the state if the child is a ward of the state;

(3) An individual acting in the place of a natural or adoptive parent, including a grandparent, stepparent, or other relative, with whom the child lives, or an individual who is legally responsible for the child's welfare;

(4) An individual assigned to be a surrogate parent, provided the individual is not prohibited by this chapter from serving as a surrogate parent for a child.

(J) "Preschool child with a disability" means a child with a disability who is at least three years of age but is not of compulsory school age, as defined under section 3321.01 of the Revised Code, and who is not currently enrolled in kindergarten.

(K) "Related services" means transportation, and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services (including speech-language pathology and audiology services, interpreting services, psychological services, physical and occupational therapy, recreation, including therapeutic recreation, school nurse services designed to enable a child with a disability to receive a free appropriate public education as described in the individualized education program of the child, counseling services, including rehabilitation counseling, orientation and mobility services, school health services, social work services in schools, and parent counseling and training, and medical services, except that such medical services shall be for diagnostic and evaluation purposes only) as may be required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education, and includes the early identification and assessment of disabling conditions in children. "Related services" does not include a medical device that is surgically implanted, or the replacement of such device.

(L) "School district" means a city, local, or exempted village school district.

(M) "School district of residence," as used in sections 3323.09, 3323.091, 3323.13, and 3323.14 of the Revised Code, means:

(1) The school district in which the child's natural or adoptive parents reside;

(2) If the school district specified in division (M)(1) of this section cannot be determined, the last school district in which the child's natural or adoptive parents are known to have resided if the parents' whereabouts are unknown;

(3) If the school district specified in division (M)(2) of this section cannot be determined, the school district determined under section 2151.362 of the Revised Code, or if no district has been so determined, the school district as determined by the probate court of the county in which the child resides.

(4) Notwithstanding divisions (M)(1) to (3) of this section, if a school district is required by section 3313.65 of the Revised Code to pay tuition for a child, that district shall be the child's school district of residence.

(N) "Special education" means specially designed instruction, at no cost to parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability. "Special education" includes instruction conducted in the classroom, in the home, in hospitals and institutions, and in other settings, including an early childhood education setting, and instruction in physical education.

(O) "Student with a visual impairment" means any person who is less than twenty-two years of age and who has a visual impairment as that term is defined in this section.

(P) "Transition services" means a coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that meet all of the following:

(1) Is designed to be within a results-oriented process, that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability to facilitate the child's movement from school to post-school activities, including post-secondary education; vocational education; integrated employment (including supported employment); continuing and adult education; adult services; independent living; or community participation;

(2) Is based on the individual child's needs, taking into account the child's strengths, preferences, and interests;

(3) Includes instruction, related services, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and, when appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation.

"Transition services" for children with disabilities may be special education, if provided as specially designed instruction, or may be a related service, if required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education.

(Q) "Visual impairment" for any individual means that one of the following applies to the individual:

(1) The individual has a visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting lenses or has a limited field of vision in the better eye such that the widest diameter subtends an angular distance of no greater than twenty degrees.

(2) The individual has a medically indicated expectation of meeting the requirements of division (Q)(1) of this section over a period of time.

(3) The individual has a medically diagnosed and medically uncorrectable limitation in visual functioning that adversely affects the individual's ability to read and write standard print at levels expected of the individual's peers of comparable ability and grade level.

(R) "Ward of the state" has the same meaning as in section 602(36) of the "Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004," 20 U.S.C. 1401(36).

Sec. 3323.25.  (A) The superintendent of public instruction shall establish a pilot project to provide early screening and intervention services for children with risk factors for dyslexia, including low phonemic awareness. The state superintendent shall select three school districts to participate in the pilot project, one of which shall be located in an urban setting, one of which shall be located in a suburban setting, and one of which shall be located in a rural setting. Any school district selected to participate in the pilot project may establish a partnership with a regional library or library system for purposes of the pilot project. To be considered for the pilot project, a school district shall submit a proposal to the state superintendent that identifies a method of screening children for low phonemic awareness and other risk factors for dyslexia, provides for the enrollment of children identified as having risk factors for dyslexia in a reading program staffed by teachers trained in multisensory structured language programs, and includes a methodology for evaluating the effects of the reading program on the children's identified risk factors. The pilot project shall operate for three full school years, beginning with the school year that begins at least three months after the effective date of this section.

The goal of the pilot project shall be to demonstrate and evaluate the effectiveness of early reading assistance programs for children with risk factors for dyslexia and to evaluate whether those programs can reduce future special education costs.

The state superintendent shall apply for private and other nonstate funds, and shall use available state funds appropriated to the department of education for the pilot project.

The state superintendent shall establish guidelines and procedures for the pilot project.

The state superintendent shall consult with the international dyslexia association or any other nationally recognized organization that specializes in multisensory structured language programs for the treatment of dyslexia in establishing and operating the pilot project.

(B) Under the pilot project, each participating school district, through early childhood reading instruction and reading assistance programs, shall screen children six years of age or younger for indications of dyslexia, provide appropriate reading intervention services for those children suspected of having dyslexia, and administer assessments, approved by the state superintendent, to ascertain whether the intervention services improve those students' reading and learning. When a child is suspected of having dyslexia, the district shall notify the child's parent or guardian of that fact and that the child, as part of the pilot project, is eligible to receive reading intervention services to measure the effectiveness of early reading assistance programs. The district shall require the parent or guardian to indicate in writing that the parent or guardian voluntarily and knowingly consents to the child's participation in the pilot project for the provision of reading intervention services. Each district shall provide to the parents of children suspected of having dyslexia information about the learning disability, recommended multisensory treatments, and possible services under this chapter.

Each participating school district also shall report annually to the state superintendent data about the operation and results of the pilot project, as required by the superintendent in the manner prescribed by the superintendent.

(C) Not later than the thirty-first day of December of the third school year in which the pilot project is operating, the state superintendent shall submit a report to the general assembly, in accordance with section 101.68 of the Revised Code, containing the superintendent's evaluation of the results of the pilot project and legislative recommendations whether to continue, expand, or make changes to the pilot project.

(D) As used in this section, "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.

SECTION 2. That existing section 3323.01 of the Revised Code is hereby repealed.

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