Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

March 5, 2014

Rep. Cameron Sexton Legislative Wrap

By Cameron Sexton
Sun contributor

CROSSVILLE — New annexation process passes the State House

On Monday, HB590 passed 78 to 8, which will give a voice to citizens across the state. It allows communities by public referendum to cast a vote for or against when a city attempts to annex their property. 

If a city initiates a forced annexation, then this legislation would require the municipality to provide notice by registered mail to all potential annexed residents 90 days prior to the referendum. The referendum would have to be approved by a majority of the potential annexed residents held with the next regularly scheduled election by the county. Only if the majority votes in favor of the annexation will the property become part of the municipality.

This legislation will not affect any property owner that requests self-annexation into the city.

Legislation aiding children with dyslexia being finalized

Dyslexia is the most common neurobiological disorder that affects the development of written and spelling skills and hinders literacy development in children and adults. Twenty-two states have passed statewide dyslexia laws and three states provide handbooks to better inform parents and educators about the proper procedures for students in public and private schools.

We are hoping Tennessee becomes the 23rd state to address this issue. The Department of Education (DOE) has stated they currently serve 7,292 dyslexic students in our public schools. However, DOE estimates there are an additional 85,416 students that are dyslexic but are not diagnosed in Tennessee.

HB1735 is a critical first step in aiding students and educators. It requires the Department of Education and the Tennessee Higher Education Institutions to work together to develop detailed training for educators and teachers through annual in-service days to have a broader understanding of dyslexia.

Allowing 85,416 students to slip through the cracks of our school systems, grade by grade, year after year, is limiting the student’s growth, knowledge and self-esteem. HB1735 is just a start to bring more awareness and support in overcoming dyslexia. There is still much to be done.