Senate Bill 114: Dyslexia Screenings

Senate Bill 114: Dyslexia Screening for K-12 California Children
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Senate Bill 114: Dyslexia Screenings for K-12 California Children

October 2023 | Issue #42

On July 10, 2023, Governor Newson signed into law Senate Bill 114. This bill adds Education Code 53008, which outlines requirements for both the State Board of Education and local education agencies (LEAs). Section 53008 requires LEAs to screen students in kindergarten through 2nd grade for reading delays, including dyslexia. Dyslexia is defined by the International Dyslexia Association as a “specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities.” In the United States, the prevalence of dyslexia in children is believed to be approximately 5-8% of school-age. Additionally, an estimated 80% of children who are in special education are diagnosed with reading learning disabilities.

Key Components

The following are some of the key components of Senate Bill 114 that educators should be aware of as this new law takes effect.


  • By January 31, 2024 - State Board to appoint an independent panel of experts to create an approved list of screening instruments for assessing pupils in K-2 for risk of reading difficulties.
  • By December 31, 2024 – panel to approve the list of screening instruments.
  • By June 30, 2025 – LEAs are required to adopt one or more screening instruments from the list.
  • At the beginning of 2025-2026 school year (and annually thereafter), assess each pupil in grades K-2 using the adopted screening instrument.
  • Parental notification – parents or guardians must be provided with appropriate notices indicating their children are eligible for screening and with the option to opt out of the screening, in writing. Additionally, parents must be provided with the screening results, along with interpretation of said results, within 45 calendar days after the screening is administered.


  • Students found to be “at risk” for reading must be provided with services and supports that address their needs, which may include:
    • Evidence-based literacy instruction focused on their specific needs.
    • Progress monitoring.
    • Early intervention in the general education program.
    • One-on-one or small group tutoring.
    • Further evaluation or diagnostic assessment.
  • Section 504 and Special Education Child Find Obligations:
    • It is important to understand that a dyslexia screening is not meant to replace a comprehensive evaluation that leads to a diagnosis. Further, being found “at risk” does not necessarily mean that a child has dyslexia.
    • However, LEAs should pay close attention to the results of screenings and consider if those may reveal areas of suspected disabilities. Results from screenings could be used as part of many other factors that could trigger a referral for evaluation and identification for a Section 504 Plan or an individualized education program (IEP).

If you wish to learn more about dyslexia and its implications in the classroom, please visit our Professional Learning Opportunities to see the course offerings around this topic.