Derek Slap


Derek Slap



June 9, 2021

Sen. Slap Leads Senate Passage of Important Changes to Dyslexia Teaching

HARTFORD – State Senator Derek Slap (D-West Hartford) today led final Senate passage of a bill that will help identify, screen, train and support students and teachers in dyslexia instruction, and will establish a new Office of Dyslexia and Reading Disabilities in the state Department of Education.

House Bill 6517 passed the Senate on a unanimous and bipartisan vote and now heads to Governor Lamont for this signature into law.

“Connecticut has a wonderful public education system, but for students with dyslexia, too often they can’t take advantage of their educational opportunities until their dyslexia is identified and addressed,” Sen. Slap said. “This bill ensures that all of the plans and the goals that Connecticut has for students with dyslexia can be achieved, and that all students will succeed.”

HB 6517 seeks to support Connecticut’s Educator Preparation Programs in their efforts to implement exisiting legislation that prepares teachers to meet the needs of students who are at-risk for – or who are identified with – dyslexia, by providing a set of core standards to guide teachers in various interventions for students who are at-risk for, and identified with, dyslexia.

The recommendations are the result of a special dyslexia instruction task force that was created by the legislature in 2019. Since 2014, Connecticut’s school population has declined by 3%, but special education prevalence has increased by 15%. Since 2015, Connecticut’s dyslexia prevalence rate has increased by 200%, even though this number represents less than 1% of the state’s total student population.

Sen. Slap thanked the task force – including members Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff and Senator Cathy Osten – for their commitment to students with dyslexia.