HB 3 is now law and it is a historic, once-in-a-generation win for dyslexia!
At the start of the 2019, Impact Dyslexia co-founder and volunteer board member Shannon Meroney told our board that the upcoming legislative session was a once-in-a-generation opportunity for dyslexia. The governor made education reform a priority and the stars aligned with two key positions being held by dyslexics, the Speaker of the House Dennis Bonnen and the Chairman of the education committee Representative Dan Huberty.
Jumping into action and working with other stakeholders like Alta and Decoding Dyslexia, here is an overview on what the Impact Dyslexia team did:
- Set strategic goals of changes needed to improve identification of and reading instruction for dyslexic students
- Drafted proposed language and legislation; reviewed filed legislation
- Attended committee hearings
- Met individually with key legislators, bill authors, including Speaker Bonnen and Rep. Huberty — both dyslexic — and key stakeholders groups to request revisions and amendments
- Activated grassroots advocacy and support at key moments to influence legislators
- Thank you to all who called the Capitol and spread the word on social media!
- Relentless engagement, coordination and communication with legislative leaders and grassroots supporters
The results are historic — the equivalent of four grand slam home runs!
- Universal screening by 1st grade: Required screening of every Texas student by the end of first grade for dyslexia with proactive auditing and monitoring by TEA of every Texas’ school system
- Per pupil funding for dyslexia interventions: New state based funding for use exclusively on evidence based reading intervention services for each dyslexic student
- Literacy best practices teacher training for all K-3 teachers and principals: All K-3 teachers and principals required to attend a literacy achievement academy to learn best practices in reading instruction
- Phonics for all K-3 students: Required use of a phonics based curriculum using systematic, direct instruction K-3 to ensure early literacy skills
When we did our initial reporting to you, we didn’t know the full scope of the success we had helped achieve because the full legislation had yet to be published. But Governor Abbott has signed HB 3 and this legislative success catapults Texas to a leader in dyslexia legislation and a model for all 50 states.
Impact Dyslexia’s Federal and 50 State Strategy
With this success, Impact Dyslexia will be rolling out its federal and 50 state strategy to help replicate the success in Texas across the country with the following high-level approach:
- Build dyslexia caucuses in each state legislature to support legislative change
- Draft model legislation and share it through national legislative exchange forums
- Compile evidence-based research to support the legislative agenda
- Coordinate with reading and learning difference-related organizations
WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT!
Thanks to Impact Dyslexia’s grassroots advocacy work, there should never again be a dyslexic student in Texas who goes unidentified and without the intervention they need to read. And now all students in K-3 will be taught phonics as part of their learning to read.
But there is still critical work to be done on the specifics of implementation through TEA, so stay tuned for engagement opportunities there. It’s is JUST as important as getting the bill passed to implement it correctly.
Impact Dyslexia can’t do this bold, impactful work without the support of people like you in the dyslexia community!
PLEASE MAKE A DONATION to ensure we are able to continue delivering results with this level of success once HB 3 moves into the implementation phase at TEA this fall.
In honor of this historic event of passing HB 3, consider a monthly donation including the number 3 — like $33 or $103 — in the amount of your donation!
THANK YOU to everyone who called, emailed or visited their legislator this session. They heard us. And they listened. We cannot say enough to thank Chairman Dan Huberty, Chairman Sen. Larry Taylor and Speaker Dennis Bonnen for their leadership and personal commitment on this issue.
Help us spread the word of this historic Texas victory in the dyslexia crisis on all your social networks!
Impact Dyslexia: WE DID IT! WE HAVE MADE HISTORY in Texas schools’ dyslexia crisis. HB 3 is law and requires universal dyslexia screening by 1st grade, funding for appropriate services and phonics in K-3! bit.ly/2X4dUDJ
Impact Dyslexia is making our first ask for volunteers. Please fill in this volunteer form and let us know how you can help!
Thank You Shannon Meroney!
This is such an awe inspiring outcome to big, bold goals from the amazing leadership and incredible hard work of Shannon Meroney, co-founder and volunteer board member of Impact Dyslexia!
Every parent in Texas owes Shannon an immense debt of gratitude! Her unwavering efforts will benefit all students, in addition to enabling the gift of dyslexia, and averting untold damage, for all dyslexics from 2019 forward!