Lawmakers Expected to Take Up CTA-backed "Binocular Vision" Measure in January
Not all bills coursing through the legislature make it to the governor’s desk. Some “die” because they are voted down in committee or on the floor. Some die because they do not move from the originating house to the other before deadlines occur.
The measures that do make it through the first house – either Assembly or Senate – and then to the second house before the legislature adjourns at the end of its first year of a two-year session earn the title “two-year” bills. Such measures can gain consideration in January of the second year.
One important “two-year” bill is CTA-backed SB 430, by Sen. Rod Wright (D-South Los Angeles). The measure would expand current law requiring school districts to examine students’ ability to see. While the current exam focuses on students’ visual acuity and color perception, SB 430 would require schools to look at students’ “binocular vision,” the ability of both eyes to coordinate effectively. Effective binocular vision is crucial to students’ ability to read. When the eyes do not coordinate well, reading suffers. Happily, the condition responds readily to treatment – once the problem is revealed.
CTA has been urging state Assemblymembers to vote for the measure, which is awaiting January 2014 action in the Assembly Health Committee.
Educators know that ensuring students can see properly is a crucial step in helping them master the bedrock skill – reading – upon which they can construct a stairway to academic excellence.