ARIZONA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Fifty-fifth Legislature

First Regular Session

Senate: ED DPA 7-0-1-0 | 3rd Read 26-4-0-0

House: ED DP 5-3-0-2


SB 1572: schools; early literacy

Sponsor: Senator Shope, LD 8

Caucus & COW

Overview

Delays dyslexia screening and training requirements. Establishes a literacy endorsement requirement for certificated teachers who provide literacy instruction in specified grades. Directs the State Board of Education (SBE) to adopt a statewide kindergarten evaluation tool and conduct a review of the K-3 reading program.

History

Statute requires the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) to designate a dyslexia specialist to provide school districts and charter schools (schools) with the necessary support and resources to assist dyslexic students. By July 1, 2021, each school must have at least one kindergarten or 1st-3rd grade teacher who has received dyslexia training (A.R.S. 15-211). Furthermore, ADE was required, by July 1, 2020, to develop a dyslexia screening plan that ensures every kindergarten or 1st grade student is screened for indicators of dyslexia (A.R.S. 15-704).

Currently, applicants for common school instruction certification must complete at least 45 hours or three college-level credit hours in both research-based systemic phonics instruction and reading instruction. Beginning July 1, 2021, SBE must ensure that the reading instruction meets dyslexia training requirements outlined in statute (A.R.S. 15-219, 15-501.01).

Statute instructs SBE to provide for the universal screening of students in preschool and kindergarten programs, as well as the 1st-3rd grades. This screening must be designed to identify students who have reading deficiencies. Schools must identify each student who is at risk of reading below grade level in these programs and grades and provide a specific written notification of the student's reading deficiency to the student's parent. Statute outlines the required information this notification must include (A.R.S. 15-701).

ADE administers the K-3 reading program to improve the reading proficiency of students. Each school is required to submit a plan to ADE for improving the reading proficiency of students enrolled in kindergarten programs and the 1st-3rd grades (A.R.S. 15-211).

Provisions

Dyslexia Requirements

1.   ☐ Prop 105 (45 votes)	     ☐ Prop 108 (40 votes)      ☐ Emergency (40 votes)	☐ Fiscal NoteDelays, from July 1, 2021 to July 1, 2022, the requirement that each school have at least one kindergarten through 3rd grade teacher who has received dyslexia training, retroactive to July 1, 2021. (Sec. 1)

2.   Delays, from July 1, 2020 to July 1, 2022, the requirement that ADE develop a dyslexia screening plan, retroactive to July 1, 2020. (Sec. 3)

3.   Replaces nonsense word repetition with nonsense word fluency as a required indicator for dyslexia screening, retroactive to July 1, 2020. (Sec. 4)

Literacy Endorsement and Certification Requirements

4.   Directs SBE, beginning August 1, 2025, to establish a literacy endorsement as a requirement for all certificated teachers who provide literacy instruction in kindergarten programs or the 1st-5th grades. (Sec. 2)

5.   Stipulates that the literacy endorsement must require the teacher to complete training or coursework as determined by SBE and to pass a literacy instruction assessment that shows the teacher is capable of:

a)   Effectively teaching foundational reading skills, phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension;

b)   Implementing reading instruction using high-quality instructional materials; and

c)   Providing effective instruction and interventions for students with reading deficiencies, including dyslexia. (Sec. 2)

6.   Mandates that SBE, beginning August 1, 2022, require all approved educator preparation programs in elementary education and early childhood education to require the courses that are necessary to obtain a literacy endorsement. (Sec. 2)

7.   Instructs SBE to adopt rules that require, within three years after an elementary education or early childhood education certificate is issued, the certificate holder to complete research-based science of reading instruction. (Sec. 2)

Kindergarten Entry Evaluation Tool

8.   Requires SBE, beginning in the 2022-2023 school year and if sufficient monies are appropriated, to adopt a statewide kindergarten entry evaluation tool to administer to kindergarten students within:

a)   45 calendar days after the beginning of each school year; or

b)   45 calendar days after a pupil enrolls. (Sec. 3)

9.   Stipulates that each school that provides instruction in kindergarten and the 1st-3rd grades must include the kindergarten entry evaluation tool to monitor student progress. (Sec. 4)

10.  Specifies that a specific written notification must be provided to the parent of a student who is in kindergarten or the 1st-3rd grades and is identified as having a reading deficiency within three weeks after the reading deficiency is identified. (Sec. 3)

11.  Requires a specific written notification of reading deficiency to include the frequency with which the school will provide timely updates and information to the parent on the student's progress toward reading proficiency. (Sec. 3)

K-3 Reading Program

12.  Mandates that SBE review the K-3 reading program and consider any changes to statute, policy or administration to improve student reading proficiency, including.

a)   The information required in the plans submitted by schools;

b)   The manner and frequency in which the plans are submitted to ADE;

c)   The collection and use of data to inform instruction and policy;

d)   The written parental notifications and the feasibility of notifications for parents of students in the 4th-12th grades; and

e)   Intervention and remedial strategies. (Sec. 5)

13.  Directs SBE to submit a report on its review to the Governor, President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Secretary of State by December 15, 2021. (Sec. 5)

14.  Repeals the reporting requirement on January 1, 2022. (Sec. 5)

Miscellaneous

15.  Makes conforming changes. (Sec. 2, 3)

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