WASHINGTON — Dyslexia is a problem that many students in Indiana deal with and one Indiana lawmaker is trying to do what she can to combat it, especially as many students continue to make up for learning losses during the COVID pandemic.
Rep. Erin Houchin (R-IN-9th) is one of the orchestrators of the 21st Century Dyslexia Act, which she and several lawmakers are pushing to invest in initiatives to help students with dyslexia.
“One in five Americans suffers from dyslexia,” Houchin said in a House Rules Committee hearing this week. “20-percent of students will only learn to read if you deliver it to them in a specific phonics-based way, and all the students in the middle will benefit from the methodologies that we use to teach students in the bottom 20-percent.”
The goal of the bill is to “modernize” the way dyslexia is identified in students. It’s so many learning disabilities in students who do not go unidentified.
The bill is being discussed in both chambers as Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) is bringing forth the bill in the Senate. For Houchin, this is legislation she’s already familiar with in the state legislature to the whole nation.
“My hope is that every state will do a universal dyslexia screening,” Houchin said. “That’s what my bill did in Indiana when I was in the legislature.”
In Indiana, every child is tested for dyslexia between the ages of kindergarten and 2nd grade.
Houchin said in the hearing she’s “proud” of the work that has been done so far on the bill, but that it has been tough to “turn the bureaucratic barge” on the issue in the aftermath of COVID-19.
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