Navigating New Waters: Understanding the Impact of HB3928 on Dyslexia Services in Texas Schools

11/14/2023

Overview of HB3928 and Its Implications

Texas House Bill 3928 marks a significant turning point in the educational framework for students with dyslexia. This bill revises key aspects of the Texas Education Code (TEC), reshaping dyslexia education and intervention in public schools. One crucial amendment is the removal of the distinction between standard protocol dyslexia (DYS) instruction and other forms of direct instruction. Now, all DYS programs are viewed as Specially Designed Instruction (SDI), significantly broadening the scope and recognition of dyslexia interventions.

Schools must adapt to these changes by re-evaluating their current dyslexia programs, ensuring compliance with the updated regulations. This includes retraining staff and rethinking intervention strategies to align with the new guidelines. 

The Multidisciplinary Approach and Parental Involvement

HB3928 enhances the Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) process by mandating the inclusion of a member with deep knowledge in reading, dyslexia, and related disorders. This individual must be involved in the student’s evaluation and any resulting Individualized Education Program (IEP), ensuring specialized insight into dyslexia. 

Schools must strategically incorporate such experts into their teams and communicate transparently with parents about their child’s progress and rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). 

Key questions and strategies for LEAs:

  • Who in our team has the requisite expertise in dyslexia, and how can we involve them more effectively in the evaluation process?
  • What systems can we put in place to ensure consistent and clear communication with parents regarding their rights and their child’s progress?

Refined Evaluation and Identification Process

The bill recognizes dyslexia as a specific learning disability, necessitating a refined evaluation process with specialized team expertise. Schools must ensure compliance with these updated requirements, potentially requiring additional staff training and revisiting evaluation methodologies.

Key questions and strategies for LEAs:

  • What changes do we need to implement in our evaluation process to comply with HB3928?
  • How can we ensure that our staff is adequately trained and equipped to conduct evaluations under the new guidelines?

Enhanced Progress Monitoring and Reporting in Dyslexia Education

The implementation of HB3928 introduces updated requirements for documenting and delivering special education and related services for students with dyslexia in Texas schools. Key changes include:

  • IEP Documentation: The ARD committee must ensure that every eligible student with dyslexia is considered for the LEA’s evidence-based dyslexia program. This program should adhere to all components and instructional methods as outlined in the Dyslexia Handbook. In line with TEC §29.0031(d), schools are required to provide progress reports on students receiving dyslexia services at least once every grading period, or more frequently if indicated in the IEP. This requirement applies regardless of whether services are provided under Section 504 or an IEP.
  • Tailored Instruction: The evidence-based dyslexia program must be executed with fidelity, accounting for individual student needs. Adjustments, such as altering group sizes or pacing, might be necessary based on the student’s progress.
  • Ongoing Evaluation: Progress monitoring is not solely based on a student completing the program’s sequence of lessons. Continued evaluation of the student’s needs, even after completing the program, is crucial to determine if further dyslexia instruction is required.

Schools need to establish a consistent reporting mechanism that aligns with this requirement, ensuring that progress reports accurately reflect student advancements and challenges in the dyslexia program.

Key questions and strategies for LEAs:

  • What protocols need to be established to ensure timely and accurate progress reporting for students with dyslexia?
  • How can we ensure that these reports provide meaningful insights into the student’s progress and areas for improvement?

Implementing HB3928 in Schools

One of the most critical aspects of HB3928 is its implementation in schools. Educators now have several options to provide dyslexia intervention, with various combinations of Providers of Dyslexia Intervention and Special Education (SE) support. These options can be tailored to the unique needs of each student, ensuring that interventions are both effective and compliant with the new legislation.

Option 1: PDI and SE with Indirect Teacher Support

In this model, a Provider of Dyslexia Instruction (PDI) teaches an evidence-based dyslexia program, while the SE offers indirect teacher support. Both roles involve collecting progress monitoring data and providing regular progress reports. This option is particularly effective in situations where students require specialized dyslexia instruction alongside general classroom support.

Option 2: PDI and SE with Direct Teacher Support

Alternatively, the PDI can focus on delivering the dyslexia program, with the SE providing more direct support in the classroom. This approach is beneficial for students who need more intensive intervention and direct instructional support.

Option 3: Combined PDI/SE Roles

In some cases, a single individual may fulfill both the PDI and SE roles, providing comprehensive support that spans dyslexia-specific instruction and general special education needs. This approach can be particularly effective in smaller school settings or where resources are limited.

Key questions and strategies for LEAs:

  • Which intervention model(s) best fit our school’s context and resources?
  • How can we monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the chosen intervention model?

Navigating the Future of Dyslexia Education in Texas

As Texas schools adapt to the transformative changes brought by HB3928, several key considerations will guide their journey:

  1. Dyslexia Handbook Updates: Schools must stay vigilant about the upcoming updates to the Dyslexia Handbook, due by June 30, 2024, ensuring alignment with the latest educational standards for dyslexia.
  2. Qualifications for Providers of Dyslexia Intervention: The pending details on qualifications and training for PDIs from the SBOE necessitate readiness for potential shifts in hiring and training practices.
  3. Parental Notice: Adapting to changes in parental notification requirements is crucial for maintaining clear and compliant communication channels.
  4. 504 Plan Transition: The review of current students under 504 plans, scheduled for completion by the end of the 2024-2025 school year, will be pivotal in determining the necessity of SDI and potentially referring students for further evaluation.

At Amplio, we’re committed to staying abreast of these changes, offering resources and support to Texas educators as these updates unfold. We’re here to assist educators in adapting effectively to these evolving requirements, ensuring the best outcomes for students with dyslexia.

Sources:

Texas House Bill 3928 Overview Video

FAQs: Dyslexia Evaluation, Identification, and Instruction

Carla Moriel

Carla Moriel

Carla Moriel is a Subject Matter Expert for Reading Interventionist and District Relations Executive at Amplio. She has 15 years of experience in public education in Texas, 6 of those years were spent providing Dyslexia therapy to English and Spanish-speaking students. She received her CALT (Certified Academic Language Therapist) certification in 2018 from Southern Methodist University. Carla is trained in multiple dyslexia curricula.

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