Dyslexia teacher training bills will help students learn to read

Two bills heard in the E-12 Education Committee would provide training for teachers to help them define and understand dyslexia and provide training and resources to help students.

The advocacy group Decoding Dyslexia Minnesota provided statistics on who is affected by dyslexia:

  • One in five students have dyslexia
  • About 135,000 Minnesota school-age children have dyslexia
  • A 2016 statewide survey found that 75% of teachers say they have not had training for teaching students with dyslexia, and 96% of teachers say they are interested in receiving in-service training about dyslexia

The first bill requires the Professional Educator Licensure and Standards Board (PELSB) to adopt rules for all teachers renewing their Tier 3 or 4 licenses to include reading preparation to enable a teacher to define and understand dyslexia, implement instructional strategies and access Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) dyslexia resources. The bill was amended and requires two clock hours of training when a teacher applies for licensure renewal.  (S.F.116)

The second bill requires that all PELSB-approved teacher prep programs include instruction for evidence-based and structured reading programs. The teacher prep programs for elementary education, early childhood education, special education and reading intervention teachers must also include dyslexia instruction. A report from PELSB is also required. (S.F.196)