Anchorage – Today, Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed a bill to address the educational challenges faced by young Alaskans who have difficulty reading due to dyslexia and other factors. House Bill 64 authorizes the creation of a 12-member task force to make recommendations on how to improve reading skills for those who need it.

“Children with dyslexia and other challenges to learning can become excellent readers, but often this requires a different approach than standard teaching methods. House Bill 64 will help us identify and promote effective learning techniques to help them succeed,” said the bill sponsor Rep. Harriet Drummond (D-Anchorage).

The reading proficiency and dyslexia task force authorized by HB 64 is tasked with examining current Alaska statutes on reading proficiency and dyslexia, as well as researching practices in other jurisdictions. The task force will then make recommendations to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and education of children with dyslexia and other reading difficulties in Alaska. The task force’s final report is to be submitted by March 29th of next year.

The 12-member task force will be made up of three members of the Alaska House of Representatives, three members of the Alaska State Senate, a representative of the Association of Alaska School Boards, an active or retired elementary school teacher, and a representative from the Alaska Council of School Administrators or the Alaska Association of Elementary School Principals. The task force must also include a high school student and a parent of a child with a reading disability. 

House Bill 64 passed the Alaska State Senate earlier this year by a unanimous vote of 18-0. The bill passed the Alaska House of Representatives last year by a vote of 33-3. Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed the bill into law today during a ceremony in Anchorage.

For more information, please contact Alaska House Majority Coalition Press Secretary Mike Mason at (907) 444-0889.