Senate Votes To Expand Dyslexia Scholarship
Today the Senate adopted legislation to expand the Dyslexia Scholarship program in a 30-19 vote.
House Bill 1046, which makes a number of improvements to the current Dyslexia Scholarship program, is now headed to the House of Representatives. A reverse repealer has been placed in the legislation meaning it will return for further consideration.
“Today the State Senate voted to give students struggling with dyslexia hope and new options for their education,” Grant Callen, president of Empower Mississippi said. “This will maintain the high standards for dyslexia services that are so important, but will help many more students receive the education they deserve. I thank Lt. Governor Tate Reeves, Senate Education Chairman Gray Tollison, and Senator Kevin Blackwell for their leadership and work in supporting this legislation. I am hopeful that the final legislation will maintain this strong language.”
HB 1046 makes a number of important changes to the Dyslexia Scholarship program. This includes:
- The scholarships will be expanded to students through 12th grade. The program is currently only available through 6th grade. This will serve students who did not receive the appropriate dyslexia services when they were younger.
- Accredited private schools will be allowed to accept the scholarships, provided they meet all the standards, including employing Mississippi licensed dyslexia therapists. The program currently requires schools to be accredited by the Mississippi Department of Education, which significantly limits the number of schools who can participate.
- Students living in border counties will be allowed to use the scholarship in another state, if appropriate educational services are not available within thirty miles of the student’s home.
First enacted in 2012, the Dyslexia Scholarship program has served hundreds of students over the past five years.
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