State Education Agency (SEA) Dyslexia LegislationYes
SF2319 defines dyslexia, and authorizes technical assistance and professional development related to dyslexia. SF2196 describes literacy requirements for teacher preparation programs.
IAC requires any practitioner seeking a reading endorsement to have 24 semester hours in reading that include the definition of dyslexia; and appropriate interventions, remediation, assistive technology, and accommodations for students with dyslexia. Practitioners must also demonstrate knowledge of signs and symptoms of dyslexia and other reading difficulties; reading theory; various aspects of language development (e.g., phonological awareness, morphology) and the ability to integrate literacy instruction into content areas for subgroups of students, including students with dyslexia. SF2360 provides for a dyslexia task force and report.
IAC also outlines teacher preparation requirements related to dyslexia, and requirements for an elementary school teaching endorsement, the latter of which requires 9 training hours in areas including but not limited to phonemic awareness, and the assessment and diagnosis of student literacy, including the signs and symptoms of dyslexia.
Note: Iowa does not conduct SLD evaluations unless specifically requested by parents. Iowa does not assign disability categories to eligible individuals.
Iowa §279.68 indicates that “A school shall assess all students enrolled in kindergarten through grade three at the beginning of the school year for their level of reading or reading readiness on locally determined or statewide assessments [...].The student shall continue to be provided with intensive reading instruction, at grade levels beyond grade three if necessary, until the student is reading at grade level, as determined by the student’s consistently proficient performance on valid and reliable measures of reading ability. For purposes of this section, “persistently at risk” means the student has not met the grade-level benchmark on two consecutive screening assessments administered under this paragraph. The parent or guardian of any student in kindergarten through grade three who is persistently at risk in reading shall be notified in writing and shall be provided all of the following:(1) A description of the services currently provided to the student. (2) A description of the proposed supplemental instructional services and supports that the school district will provide to the student that are designed to remediate the identified areas in which the student is persistently at risk in reading. (3) Strategies for parents and guardians to use in helping the student read proficiently, including but not limited to the promotion of parent-guided home reading. (4) Regular updates regarding the student’s progress toward reaching or exceeding the targeted level of reading proficiency
The law further requires the establishment of “a reading enhancement and acceleration development initiative designed to offer intensive accelerated reading instruction to each kindergarten through grade three student who is persistently at risk in reading. The initiative shall comply with all of the following criteria: (1) Be provided to all kindergarten through grade three students who are persistently at risk in reading. The assessment initiative shall measure phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.” It also requires schools to “Assist students who are persistently at risk in reading to develop the skills to read at grade level. Assistance shall include but not be limited to strategies that formally address dyslexia, when appropriate. For purposes of this subparagraph division(a), “dyslexia” means a specific and significant impairment in the development of reading, including but not limited to phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension, that is not solely accounted for by intellectual disability, sensory disability or impairment, or lack of appropriate instruction.”
Iowa Administrative Code now has various dyslexia-related training requirements for practitioners. Specific requirements vary by practitioner type.
Iowa does not have in-service legislation related to dyslexia. However, individuals seeking endorsements in specific areas such as reading will need to complete dyslexia-specific training.Further, Iowa law states, “Each school district, subject to an appropriation of funds by the general assembly, shall provide professional development services to enhance the skills of elementary teachers in responding to children’s unique reading issues and needs and to increase the use of evidence-based strategies.”
Iowa law indicates that schools must, “Provide students who are persistently at risk in reading with intensive instructional services and supports, free of charge, to remediate the identified areas in which students are not proficient in reading, including a minimum of ninety minutes daily of scientific, research-based reading instruction and other strategies prescribed by the school district which may include but are not limited to the following: (1) Small group instruction. (2) Reduced teacher-student ratios. (3) More frequent progress monitoring. (4) Tutoring or mentoring. (5)Extended school day, week, or year.(6) Summer reading programs.”
Further, schools must “Assists students who are persistently at risk in reading to develop the skills to read at grade level. Assistance shall include but not be limited to strategies that formally address dyslexia, when appropriate. For purposes of this subparagraph division (a), “dyslexia” means a specific and significant impairment in the development of reading, including but not limited to phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension, that is not solely accounted for by intellectual disability, sensory disability or impairment, or lack of appropriate instruction. (b) Provides skill development in phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. (c) Includes a scientifically based and reliable assessment. (d) Provides initial and ongoing analysis of each student’s reading progress. (e) Is implemented during regular school hours. (f) Provides a curriculum in core academic subjects to assist the student in maintaining or meeting proficiency levels for the appropriate grade in all academic subjects.”
Literacy State-identified Measurable Result (SIMR) - Part B
Has Literacy SIMR?Yes
Zirkel, P. A., & Thomas, L. B. (2010). State laws for RTI: An updated snapshot. Teaching Exceptional Children, 42(3), 56-63.
Gearin, B., Turtura, J., Kame’enui, E. J., Nelson, N. J., & Fien, H. (2018). A Multiple Streams Analysis of Recent Changes to State-Level Dyslexia Education Law. Educational Policy, 0895904818807328.
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Has Dyslexia Legislation?Yes
Has Literacy SIMR?Yes
The research reported here is funded by awards to the National Center on Improving Literacy from the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, in partnership with the Office of Special Education Programs (Award #: S283D160003). The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of OESE, OSEP, or the U.S. Department of Education. Copyright © 2021 National Center on Improving Literacy. https://improvingliterarcy.org