South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem signed House Bill 1228—which modifies the age range for South Dakota’s Language Equality and Acquisition for Deaf Kids (LEAD-K) Law‘s language and developmental literacy milestones from birth to age 5 to birth to age 21—into law on Tuesday, according to the Argus Leader.

HB 1228 and Senate Bill 117—which would have mandated that the state’s Department of Education create certain programs for deaf and hard-of-hearing children under the 1993 Deaf Child’s Bill of Rights—were introduced by legislators after a report in the Argus Leader “alleging that South Dakota has ignored the needs of deaf children in the educational system.”

Senate Bill 117 fell “six ayes short“ of passing, though Senator Reynold Nesiba said he would reconsider it.

“It is wonderful that we are making an impact on deaf and hard of hearing students and their ability to succeed,” said Rep. Erin Healy, D- Minnehaha in the article, when the House Bill passed its last hurdle earlier this month to get to Noem’s desk. “By counting all students, the state can evaluate whether there’s enough support for students right now, and the data collection can also be used to identify the gaps in learning, where they’re happening and how we can address those problems.”

To read the article in its entirety, please click here.

Source: Argus Leader