Van Drew Team Dyslexia Legislation Signed into Law by the Governor : News Room : The Van Drew Team for Change : Jeff Van Drew, Bob Andrzejczak and Bruce Land
Van Drew Team Dyslexia Legislation Signed into Law by the Governor
COURT HOUSE – Gov. Chris Christie has signed into law more bills authored by the Van Drew team. The new laws, spurred by local stories, will help children with reading disabilities and boost Atlantic City’s resort economy.
One of the laws will change the way students with dyslexia are treated in the classroom. It was inspired by 16-year-old Ocean City student Samantha Ravelli, who came to symbolize the struggles that many students with dyslexia have experienced in finding public school reading programs that can adequately help those with the reading disability.
The Ravelli family, originally from Weymouth, moved to Ocean City when Samantha was in elementary school simply so she could have access a reading program that could help her learn. Now in high school, Samantha aspires to go to college.
“Until Samantha came to us for help, we didn’t realize just how many children with reading disabilities have had to be uprooted just to find a place to learn,” said Van Drew, who sponsored the law along with Assemblymen Nelson Albano and Bob Andrzejczak. “Now, all teachers will have the know-how to help these students read and succeed.”
Specifically, the law will require the state to provide professional development to teachers in the screening, intervention and education of students with dyslexia and other reading disabilities.
“Samantha is a hero to thousands of kids across New Jersey who want to learn, but who have been left behind because of a reading disability, and to the teachers who want to help them succeed” said Andrzejczak.
The second law would give a tax exemption to out-of-state busing companies that host charters to Atlantic City, making it more affordable for tourists to travel to the resort. Over the past decade, the number of day-trips taken to Atlantic City has decreased significantly. The Van Drew Team said that cutting taxes for the companies that run these buses should get more of them on road to South Jersey.
“Once again, this is a matter of cutting taxes in a smart way to boost our local economy,” said Albano. “With a healthy Atlantic City, all of South Jersey benefits. I am grateful to the governor for working with us to get this tax break on the books and for continually working with us to get South Jersey’s economy back on track.”