TOPEKA (KSNT)- Kansas Governor Laura Kelly signed a bipartisan bill on Tuesday, which requires schools to provide additional resources for students with dyslexia.

Kelly signed House Bill 2322, which updates the Special Education for Exceptional Children Act to include dyslexia under the list of disabilities covered.

“Ensuring our special education students have the tools they need to thrive is one of my top priorities. That means recognizing all students — including students with dyslexia — who may need additional support and resources,” Kelly said.  

“As someone who has always struggled with dyslexia, I support this legislation as an important step to ensure our kids get the support they need,” said Senate President Ty Masterson, R-Andover. 

According to Jon Rolph, President of the Kansas Board of Regents, the legislation will ensure that all students with dyslexia receive services designed to grow their literacy and language skills.

“I’d like to thank Governor Kelly and the Kansas legislature for their commitment to improving the lives of our students with dyslexia,” Rolph said.

The bill, would also replace the term “emotional disturbance” with “emotional disability.” The bill
would also make similar updates in the definition of “individuals with disabilities” used in law relating to transition planning services for individuals with disabilities. The bill would define “emotional disability” to mean the same as the term “emotional disturbance” is used in the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA; PL 101-476).

Proponents of the bill, addressed the stigma the labeling of “emotional disturbance” presents for the individual child, parents, and school staff, and noted that as of July 2022, a total of 23 states have legally changed their terminology, 13 using either “emotional disability” or “serious emotional disability.”

Kelly also signed three other bipartisan bills on Tuesday:

House Bill 2216: Removes the mandatory five day term of imprisonment for first-time offenders that drive with a license that has been canceled, suspended, or revoked due to failure to appear in court or pay fines. 

House Bill 2214Updates references to the names of state correctional facilities in statute, including updating the name of the Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility to the Larned State Correctional Facility. 

House Bill 2336: Increases the ability of local airport authorities to bond for public construction and improvement projects.