Colorado Reading Statistics & Programs


2017 Colorado Students:

Total  #: 910,280

Total # in Special Education: 101,682

Total # in Special Education for Specific Learning Disability (SLD): 40,062

About 85% of children with SLD are dyslexic, therefore an estimated 34,053 students in Special Education are dyslexic.

Conservatively, 12% of all children are dyslexic. In CO, that would mean 109,234 of K-12 students are dyslexic.

The below graph shows 2017 Colorado IEPs by Disability and Grade. Early identification and intervention are key to dyslexics and can even prevent the need for special education. We are identifying children way too late – its peak in 6th grade! – and are only identifying them when they are significantly behind grade level. This is the very definition of wait to fail.


Source:  Colorado Department of Education   2017-2018 school year data


Colorado Department of Education State Systemic Improvement Plan. This is Phase III submitted to US Dept on Ed on 4/2/18 and includes a wealth of information related to the literacy initiatives that have been underway since the first Phase of this plan began in 2015. Of particular note in this report is page 66 which lists the concerns related to teacher knowledge of reading research and evidence-based strategies:

State Systemic Improvement Plan submitted 4/1/19:

Colorado’s June 28, 2018 Letter from ‘United States Department of Education – Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services’ with a determination that Colorado

This letter details Colorado’s determination of: ‘Needs Assistance in implementing the requirements of Part B of the IDEA’ Select the section titled ‘ co-aprltr-2018b’ via this link for more info:

Joint Budget Committee State Budget Briefing

FY 2019-2020 Department of Education December 4, 2018

Of particular note, page 11: