Smith Bill Supports Dyslexia Research
House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today introduced the Research Excellence and Advancements for Dyslexia Act (READ Act) (H.R. 3033), a bipartisan bill to support dyslexia research. Dyslexia is an unexpected difficulty in reading in an individual who has the intelligence to be a much better reader. It is estimated that 8.5 million U.S. school children, or one out of six, may have dyslexia.
Chairman Smith: “If you can’t read, you can’t achieve. Millions of children have undiagnosed dyslexia, and millions more do not receive effective educational assistance at their schools. Dyslexia has no correlation to intelligence. By investing in early detection, children with dyslexia can learn strategies to help them read more effectively. The READ Act addresses these problems by prioritizing investments in critical dyslexia research. Understanding dyslexia is the first step to ensuring our children have access to the tools they need to read and achieve.”
The READ Act requires the president’s annual budget request to Congress to include a line item for the Research in Disabilities Education program of the National Science Foundation (NSF). It also requires the NSF to devote at least $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
- Curricula development and evidence-based educational tools for children with dyslexia
The READ Act does not increase federal spending. It authorizes multi-directorate, merit-reviewed, and competitively awarded dyslexia research projects using funds appropriated for the NSF Research and Related Activities account and the Education and Human Resources Directorate.
The READ Act was introduced by Chairman Smith along with Rep. Julia Brownley (D-Calif.) who are the co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Dyslexia Caucus. The Caucus is comprised of nearly 80 Members of Congress and is dedicated to increasing public awareness about dyslexia and ensuring all students have equal educational opportunities.
Additional original co-sponsors include Science, Space, and Technology Committee Members Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) and Oversight Subcommittee Ranking Member Don Beyer (D-Va.).