The House Caucus in Congress is getting a new co-chair—Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX). He joins fellow co-chair Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA). The purpose of the bipartisan group is to raise awareness about dyslexia.
Smith already heads the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. He decided to take on this added role because he feels more must be done to educate members of Congress and the public.
In a statement, Lamar said he supported “continued dyslexia research as well as … early detection and intervention.” He also emphasized the need to change perceptions: “Changing the way we approach dyslexia—as possibility rather than disability—can enhance opportunities and brighten futures for millions.”
“I am delighted to welcome Congressman Smith, who has been a leader in Congress on this important issue, as caucus co-chair,” said Brownley.
“I hope the caucus can help ensure that dyslexia is better understood and earlier identified, so that students are provided the necessary resources and to reach their full potential.”
The caucus has been busy. It held a hearing last fall on the science of dyslexia. At the hearing, Smith spoke about his niece and about a family friend, Leighton, both of whom have dyslexia. Since then, Smith has visited several schools and organizations that serve students with dyslexia in Texas. After the visits, he observed: “The determination and persistence of students, parents and teachers I have had the pleasure to meet is nothing short of inspirational. They are the reason we have this caucus.”
Smith replaces Bill Cassidy as caucus co-chair. Cassidy, a Republican and former congressman from Louisiana, was elected to the U.S. Senate in December. He helped form the caucus in 2012.
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Geri Coleman Tucker is a freelance writer and editor and a former deputy managing editor for