Senator Portantino Praises Inclusion of Early Dyslexia Screening in Governor’s May Revise

Friday, May 12 2023

For Immediate Release: May 12, 2023

Contact: Lerna Shirinian, (818) 409-0400


Senator Portantino Praises Inclusion of Early Dyslexia Screening in Governor’s May Revise

Sacramento, California – Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D - Burbank) praised the inclusion of screening for early reading challenges, including dyslexia risk screening, in the Governor's May Revision, which was released today. Earlier this year, Senator Portantino introduced Senate Bill 691, a bill aimed at improving literacy outcomes in children by requiring early identification and intervention for students who are at risk for dyslexia. The Senator was ecstatic that the goals of SB 691 were incorporated today in the May Revise.

"I am extremely grateful and appreciative of Governor Newsom for including dyslexia risk screening in the May Revise," stated Senator Portantino. "Given our budget challenges this year, the Governor's commitment to prioritizing and addressing dyslexia risk screening and early literacy demonstrates his deep commitment to ensuring that our children thrive and succeed. With this inclusion, we can provide the necessary support for educators to help students improve learning outcomes and close academic achievement gaps. It's critical that we invest in our youth and screening for risk of dyslexia is an integral part of that goal. I also extend deep appreciation to the leaders of Decoding Dyslexia CA and EdVoice for their tireless advocacy and firsthand accounts on the importance of early identification and intervention through screening.  The success today is due to laudable collaboration, the passion of education experts, and a caring Governor.”

“I know from my own challenges with dyslexia that when we help children read, we help them succeed,” said Governor Newsom. “When done right, screening equips schools to identify the unique academic needs of their students and then provide appropriate supports. I’m grateful for Senator Portantino’s leadership, and his partnership, to ensure we get this done, and done right.”

“Decoding Dyslexia CA is grateful to the Governor and Senator Portantino for collaborating to ensure all kids are screened for risk of dyslexia and other reading difficulties in the early grades. This is a significant step for California in preventing reading failure,” stated DDCA Co-State Director Lori DePole.

“We applaud Governor Newsom and Senator Portantino for making literacy for all children a top priority in California. Literacy is foundational to lifelong success, and we are confident that universal screening for reading difficulties, including risk of dyslexia, in grades K-2 will improve literacy rates and expand opportunity for California’s children,” stated Marshall Tuck, CEO of EdVoice.

Dyslexia is the most common learning disability with at least 10% of the general population having dyslexia—some estimate it to be over 15%.  Both Governor Newsom and Senator Portantino are dyslexic.

The Senator would also like to thank the elected officials, activists, professional athletes, parents, and children who have all been dealing with the challenges of dyslexia and came together to strongly advocate for this effort.”