Bryant Signs Multiple Bills

By: Mike McDaniel
By: Mike McDaniel

Flanked by supporters of the respective new laws, Governor Phil Bryant sealed with his signature what he calls important steps in combating an educational obstacle.

"I believe this is some of the most significant legislation that we've had for education in many, many years," said Bryant.

Two pieces of legislation are aimed at increasing services for students with dyslexia. The first sets up a scholarship program for college students who wish to pursue a master's degree in dyslexia therapy.

"Hundreds of thousands of students are out there struggling with this," said Bryant.

The other bill establishes screening guidelines for kindergarten and first grade students and allows first through sixth graders with dyslexia to attend schools with dyslexia-specific instruction. One such school is in Petal, known as the 3D School, led by executive director Cena Holifield.

"Dyslexia affects ten to fifteen percent and we do not have enough therapists in the state to meet the needs of these children and we don't have enough programs in our schools," said Holifield.

Those bills are just two of the four Bryant inked into law Wednesday. Also on the education front, another bill changes the current school rating system. Gone are ratings such has high performing and successful. They're being replaced with an 'A' through 'F' rating scale.

"It will not be the complex and confusing systems that we've had in the past. Any third grader will be able to figure out where their school is rated," said Bryant.

The final new law allows state veterans to put their veteran status on their drivers license. No longer will vets have to carry around an extra ID or paperwork. It's a way to make life a little easier in getting those military discounts and just having the recognition of being a veteran.

"The most important thing was if somebody was driving down the highway and was erratic and the highway patrol pulled them over and he saw veteran, he could think he might have post traumatic stress or any other problem like that," said Madison County Veteran's Services officer Tom Logue.

More than a dozen other states already have veteran status on IDs.

All of these bills are set to become law on July 1.


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