2016 Session Conclusions
We went in with fire in our belly and passion in our hearts ready to ensure that MN children struggling with dyslexia have their educational needs met. Unfortunately, despite strong effort and good bipartisan support, neither the Dyslexia Specialist bill, nor the Reading Tax Credit was passed.
2016 was a bonding year rather than a budget year and we knew the stakes were high in passing an education related bill. Sadly, despite bonding being a priority, legislators were not able to pass the bonding bill either. Which leaves our friends in Rochester without the funding necessary to keep pace with the growing needs of serving MN teachers and students with dyslexia.
There was, however, an amendment to statute 120B.12 offered by Senator Stumpf inserting dyslexia language which DID pass. Districts will be required to annually report their efforts to evaluate and identify students with dyslexia to the commissioner by July 1 of each year.
While we didn’t meet our goals in legislation this year, I’m reminded of a quote from Nelson Mandela “I never lose. I either win or learn.” DD-MN has learned an incredible amount during the process this year, we will carry with us what we gleaned from Session as we begin planning for 2017. We remain dedicated to serving this community for change and we hope you will continue to stand beside us with your steadfast support.
In closing, continue to advocate for your children, talk to your school about dyslexia and give them a copy of the paper produced by MDE called Navigating the School System when a child is struggling with Reading or Dyslexia. Also, provide the statement released last October by Michael Yudin from the Office of Special Education Rehabilitative Services (OSERS). http://ecac-parentcenter.org/userfiles/guidance-on-dyslexia-10-2015.pdf
In unison we will make a louder voice as we advocate, educate and legislate for change!
Thank you all for the letters, calls & support this session!
2016 Dyslexia Day at the Capitol
We united as a collective group to illustrate an issue of inequality that Minnesota children face in our educational institutions. What an outpouring of camaraderie, support, and advocacy! Seeing all of the children and their signs was simply a beautiful sight! Did you see the amazement of the committee members at the size of our group? Did you see how emotionally impacted they were with the testimony? Did you know that one of our key opponents declined to take the stand and speak in opposition after our testimony? How about the empowering speech Chairman Chuck Wiger delivered at our Rally? WE HAVE THEIR EARS!!! THEY UNDERSTAND THE ISSUE!!
We are making strides in advocacy for the rights of individuals with dyslexia! In large part due to the wonderful dedication and support from ALL of you who understand the importance of the "calls to action" we send! You're reaching out, staying connected to your legislators and making sure your voice is heard! We pledge our continued dedication to keeping this issue at the table within MN legislature on behalf of all those who struggle with dyslexia. Thank you to all who showed their support of DD-MN efforts yesterday whether in person, in spirit or in-kind! It was a wonderful day!