HB 3928 and the FAQ from TEA….

As a result of T.E.A.’s explanation of the new dyslexia landscape after HB 3928 we get a new initialism!  PDI: Provider of Dyslexia Instruction. 

No doubt you will want to work this into some of your reports.  I already saw one that read like this:

The student was on a 504 until HB 3928 and the FAQs from TEA after which we came to understand that all EBDPs, including SPDI are actually SDI as defined in IDEA.  So we held a 504, gave out the NPS and the new TEA form, did a REED and recommended an FIIE. Now we are looking for an LDT, LDP, CALT or CALP to be a PDI!  How else can we implement the IEP in the LRE and provide FAPE?

I think the function of a PDI is pretty obvious from the title.  The key to being a PDI is training:

This person must be fully trained in the LEA’s adopted instructional materials for students with dyslexia…This means that a PDI must be fully trained in the LEA’s evidence-based dyslexia program and able to use individualized, intensive, multisensory, phonetic methods, and a variety of writing and spelling components described in the Dyslexia Handbook.

There is no required certification or licensure for PDI status, but the FAQ encourages schools to seek out LDTs (Licensed Dyslexia Therapists), LDPs (Licensed Dyslexia Practitioners), CALTs  (Certified Academic Language Therapists), CALPs ((Certified Academic Language Practitioners), or “those with structured literacy certifications.”

They don’t have to have special ed certification “unless the LEA employs the PDI in a position that requires the certification.”   This is going to require a little clarification.  The new law makes it clear that any form of “dyslexia instruction” is a form of “special ed.”  We all know that special ed can only be provided by teachers certified in special ed. So how can the PDI not be providing special ed?  Further clarification on this point would be helpful.

Can it be a paraprofessional?  No:

Because paraprofessionals must work under the supervision of teachers, a paraprofessional cannot be the person providing instruction to students in the evidence-based dyslexia program.

I expect that PDIs will be serving on many ARD Committees as well as the Multidisciplinary Team that evaluates a student for dyslexia.  The new law requires that someone “with specific knowledge in the reading process, dyslexia and related disorders, and dyslexia instruction must serve” on the Team and the Committee if dyslexia is under consideration. However, they don’t have to be at every ARD meeting. The requirement regarding ARDs only applies when the ARD is considering initial eligibility or “a change in and /or continued eligibility…as in a re-evaluation.”

Editorial comment: good for Texas.  Good for T.E.A.  This has been a long time coming.  We’ve been whomped up the side of the head by the Department of Education for a long time based on how we serve students with dyslexia. IDEA offers better services to students than a 504 plan does, along with better legal protection for parents, and a little bit of federal money to help.  These changes in procedure should result in fewer Child Find violations.  But change is difficult and will require training of staff and lots of information to parents. Let us know if we at Walsh Gallegos can help you with any of that.


Got a question or comment for the Dawg?  Let me hear from you at jwalsh@wabsa.com