Chief Sponsor: Susan Pulsipher

Senate Sponsor: Ann Millner


8     General Description:
9          This bill amends provisions for benchmark assessments in reading.
10     Highlighted Provisions:
11          This bill:
12          ▸     defines terms; and
13          ▸     makes technical changes.
14     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
15          None
16     Other Special Clauses:
17          None
18     Utah Code Sections Affected:
19     AMENDS:
20          53E-4-307, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2023, Chapter 20

22     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
23          Section 1. Section 53E-4-307 is amended to read:
24          53E-4-307. Benchmark assessments in reading -- Report to parent.
25          (1) As used in this section:
26          (a) "Competency" means a demonstrable acquisition of a specified knowledge, skill, or
27     ability that has been organized into a hierarchical arrangement leading to higher levels of

28     knowledge, skill, or ability.
29          (b) "Diagnostic assessment" means an assessment that measures key literacy skills,
30     including phonemic awareness, sound-symbol recognition, alphabet knowledge, decoding and
31     encoding skills, and comprehension, to determine a student's specific strengths and weaknesses
32     in a skill area.
33          (c) "Dyslexia" means a specific learning disability that:
34          (i) is neurological in origin and is characterized by difficulties with:
35          (A) accurate or fluent word recognition; and
36          (B) poor spelling and decoding abilities; and
37          (ii) typically results from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is
38     often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom
39     instruction.
40          [(c)] (d) "Evidence-based" means the same as that term is defined in Section
41     53G-11-303.
42          [(d)] (e) "Evidence-informed" means the same as that term is defined in Section
43     53G-11-303.
44          (2) The state board shall approve a benchmark assessment for use statewide by school
45     districts and charter schools to assess the reading competency of students in grades 1 through 6
46     as provided by this section.
47          (3) A school district or charter school shall:
48          (a) administer benchmark assessments to students in grades 1, 2, and 3 at the
49     beginning, middle, and end of the school year using the benchmark assessment approved by the
50     state board; and
51          (b) after administering a benchmark assessment, report the results to a student's parent.
52          (4) (a) If a benchmark assessment or supplemental reading assessment indicates a
53     student lacks competency in a reading skill, or is lagging behind other students in the student's
54     grade in acquiring a reading skill, the school district or charter school shall:
55          (i) administer diagnostic assessments to the student;
56          (ii) using data from the diagnostic assessment, provide specific, focused, and
57     individualized intervention or tutoring to develop the reading skill;
58          (iii) administer formative assessments and progress monitoring at recommended levels

59     for the benchmark assessment to measure the success of the focused intervention;
60          (iv) inform the student's parent of activities that the parent may engage in with the
61     student to assist the student in improving reading proficiency;
62          (v) provide information to the parent regarding appropriate interventions available to
63     the student outside of the regular school day that may include tutoring, before and after school
64     programs, or summer school; and
65          (vi) provide instructional materials that are evidence-informed for core instruction and
66     evidence-based for intervention and supplemental instruction.
67          (b) Nothing in this section or in Section 53F-4-203 or 53G-11-303 requires a reading
68     software product to demonstrate the statistically significant effect size described in Subsection
69     53G-11-303(1)(a) in order to be used as an instructional material described in Subsection
70     (4)(a)(vi).
71          (5) (a) In accordance with Section 53F-4-201 and except as provided in Subsection
72     (5)(b), the state board shall contract with one or more educational technology providers for a
73     benchmark assessment system for reading for students in kindergarten through grade 6.
74          (b) If revenue is insufficient for the benchmark assessment system for the grades
75     described in Subsection (5)(a), the state board shall first prioritize funding a benchmark
76     assessment for students in kindergarten through grade 3.
77          Section 2. Effective date.
78          This bill takes effect on May 1, 2024.