Education

Mandatory dyslexia screenings, trainings on the way to Georgia schools. Here’s why.

Tearful Miss Kentucky asks legislators to help kids with dyslexia

A tearful Clark Davis, Miss Kentucky 2015, who said she has dyslexia so severe that sometimes she can’t spell her own name, testified last week in favor of General Assembly bills that would help school districts identify young students with dyslex
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A tearful Clark Davis, Miss Kentucky 2015, who said she has dyslexia so severe that sometimes she can’t spell her own name, testified last week in favor of General Assembly bills that would help school districts identify young students with dyslex

Soon, every kindergartner in the state of Georgia will undergo a mandatory dyslexia screening.

The screenings, which will begin in the 2024 school year, are part of Senate Bill 48, signed by Gov. Brian Kemp on Thursday.

According to the AJC, dyslexia experts estimate that between 10% and 20% of the population has dyslexia, which translates to as many as 360,000 Georgia students. This could be a reason behind only one in three Georgia fourth graders scoring “proficient” on the national reading test.

People with dyslexia have “trouble matching the letters they see on the page with the sounds those letters and combinations of letters make,” according to the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity.

Dyslexia can’t be cured, which can make reading and spelling difficult without the proper support.

This is why Gov. Kemp says before the screenings begin, teachers will be trained on how to better serve students with the reading condition. They’ll also be testing the screening materials.

Other education bills signed by Gov. Kemp on Thursday:

  • Senate Bill 108, requiring computer science courses in every high school.
  • House Bill 218, extends eligibility for the HOPE scholarship.

  • Senate Bill 60, requires training for student athletes about warning signs of cardiac arrest.
  • House Bill 68, prohibits school accreditors from serving as student scholarship organizations.
Britneé Davis is McClatchy’s South Region Digital Producer. The south region includes the Sun Herald, the Telegraph, and the Ledger-Enquirer.
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