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Senate committee hears testimony on dyslexia support bills

Johnny McClung

A bill package to aid Michigan students with dyslexia received mostly positive feedback during a committee hearing Tuesday.

The bills aim to catch dyslexia in students early while providing them support they need to not fall behind in reading.

Democratic state Senator Jeff Irwin told the Senate Education and Career Readiness Committee the bills piggy-back on existing standards and reading assessments.

“Then we also focus on the training and professional development required to give our educators the tools to be able to use these assessments…identify these characteristics and employ these interventions," Irwin said.

Republican state Senator Lana Theis chairs the Senate Education and Career Readiness Committee. She says there’s no reason why dyslexia should be a barrier for students.

"Michigan is not at the top of the pack when it comes to our literacy scores. And I think a large reason for that is the fact that we’re not identifying our dyslexia students early," Theis said.

The package would also create a committee under the Department of Education to oversee the process.

It would involve the general education system and not special education.

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