WASHINGTON – Congressman Bruce Westerman (AR-04) issued the following statement Thursday (Feb. 4) following passage of the READ Act (H.R. 3033), a bill co-sponsored by Westerman:
“Dyslexia is the most common learning disability, affecting more than 90 percent of all individuals identified as learning disabled, including an estimated one out of six U.S. school children,” Westerman said. “This learning disability causes difficulty with reading comprehension, math, and a variety of other subject areas. More research is needed to understand dyslexia so students receive research-based instruction and have the best opportunity to learn and succeed in the 21st century. That is why I co-sponsored and voted for the READ Act of 2015. This bill is good for students, educators, and America.”
U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (TX-21), chairman of the House Committee on Space, Science, and Technology (of which Westerman is a member), was primary sponsor of the READ Act.
“Today we can help millions of Americans have a brighter and more prosperous future. Despite the prevalence of dyslexia, many Americans remain undiagnosed, untreated and silently struggle at school or work. We need to enable those with dyslexia to achieve their maximum potential. I am glad that the House and Senate were able to work together and send the president a good bipartisan bill to help accomplish this goal.”
The SST Committee noted in its release that the READ Act requires the president’s annual budget request to Congress to include the Research in Disabilities Education program of the National Science Foundation (NSF). As amended, the bill requires the NSF to devote at least $2.5 million annually to dyslexia research, which would focus on best practices in the following areas:
- Early identification of children and students with dyslexia;
- Professional development about dyslexia for teachers and administrators; and
- Curricula development and evidence-based educational tools for children with dyslexia.
Westerman will host the Congressional Dyslexia Forum in Hot Springs March 7. Visitwesterman.house.gov/