Senator Bush’s dyslexia awareness bill passes Senate

052014 js 1078RSPRINGFIELD - Senator Bush (D-Grayslake) passed a proposal out of the Senate yesterday that seeks to improve the way Illinois school districts’ teach dyslexic students.

“Dyslexic students can quickly fall behind because teachers cannot identify their disability or do not have learning materials adapted to their needs,” Bush said. “It is important that we implement the same level of awareness and services for this group of learning disabled students as we do for all other groups.”

Bush’s proposal would add the international definition of dyslexia to the Illinois school code in an effort to bring an appropriate level of institutional awareness to the disability in all schools throughout Illinois.

The proposal would also require the State Board of Education to establish an advisory group, tasked with developing a training program for school teachers and administrators. The program would help them adapt their teaching methods for dyslexic students through alternative learning tools.

Bush has spent the last six months working with parents of dyslexic students and the Illinois State Board of Education to figure out the best way to identify the learning disability early on and cater to the needs of students with the disability without burdening school districts with expensive testing and unfunded mandates.
"Parents throughout Illinois are struggling to get their children appropriate intervention and accommodations,” said Angela Baronello, co-founder of Decoding Dyslexia IL.  ”Our hope is that this bill will open the communication lines between parents and educators so we can give children the help they deserve early, instead of allowing them to fall behind."

In early November Bush brought together parents from Lake County, representatives from ISBE, the governor’s office and members of the Education Committee to discuss long term goals for the early detection of dyslexia. Bush also passed a resolution last year marking October Dyslexia Awareness month in Illinois.

The legislation, House Bill 3700, now moves to the governor’s desk for signature into law.

Sen. Melinda Bush

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31st Senate District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Appropriations II; Education; Environment and Conservation (Chairperson); Government Accountability/Pensions; Revenue; Transportation; Subcommittee on Capital (AP); Sub. on Tax Exemptions and Credits; Sub. on Interscholastic Athletics; Opioid Crisis Abatement Spec. Com..

Biography: Born March 18, 1956; former member of the Lake County Board, Forest Preserve Board and former Grayslake village trustee; married (Andy) with one adult son (Chris).

Associated Representatives:
Joyce Mason
Sam Yingling