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Special Education interim legislative committee meets July 11

The Special Education Interim Legislative Committee holds its first interim meeting of 2019 on Thursday, July 11, starting at 9 a.m. CDT, in Room 253 of the University Center in Sioux Falls.

The South Dakota Legislature created the committee, through Senate Bill 3 which was signed into law earlier this year. The committee's main purpose is to “ examine the diagnostic tools and assessments used to identify students in need of special education or special education and related services, and to examine the disability categories that are rising at the greatest rate and review eligibility requirements.”

Meetings are open to the public, and a half hour has been set aside on the agenda for public testimony.

The committee is chaired by Representative Nancy Rasmussen (R-Hurley). Other members are vice-chair Senator Jim Bolin (R-Canton), Representatives Fred Deutsch (R-Florence), Sue Peterson (R-Sioux Falls), and Ray Ring (D-Vermillion); and Sarah Carda (Yankton), Jennifer Conway (Harrisburg), Tom Culver (Avon), Lorrie Esmay (Murdo), Michelle Greseth (Sisseton), John Hamilton (Sioux Falls), Dan Martin (Timber Lake), Kari Oyen (Vermillion), and Neil Putnam (Mitchell).

The agenda begins with an overview of the committee’s scope, by Senator Jim Bolin.

Opening remarks will be given by Ben Jones, Secretary of the S.D. Department of Education.

An overview of Special Education - history, process, procedures, and current issues - will be given by Michelle Powers.

Eric Kurtz, executive director Center for Disabilities, USD Sanford School of Medicine, will speak on “autism spectrum disorder: understanding evaluation and diagnosis.”.

After a working lunch, “Dyslexia Bootcamp: what is it and how it is diagnosed” will be presented by Jane Clem Heinemeyer, clinical director, USD Scottish Rite Children's Clinic.

Marsha Weiland and Kristi Kafka, both representing Decoding Dyslexia South Dakota, will discuss identifying and supporting students with dyslexia.

Disability categories & eligibility requirements will be discussed by Linda Turner, director of Special Education, SD Department of Education.

The committee conclude the day with a committee member discussion, and make plans for future meetings. All committee agendas, minutes, and audio are available on the Legislative Research Council website, http://www.sdlegislature.gov. Live committee audio is provided by South Dakota Public Broadcasting and is also available at http://www.sd.net. You may subscribe to electronic delivery of agendas and minutes at “My LRC” on the LRC website of https://sdlegislature.gov/MyLRC/Default.aspx?Session=2019.