Board of Education to Create New Task Force for Disabled Students

There are concerns from some parents about disabled students in schools across the state after allegations that not all districts are meeting federal education guidelines for these students. 

These claims come from nearly 100 signatures on a petition from parents who said they need more options when it comes to educational plans for their children and more access to their children's classroom.

More than 20 parents testified before the Connecticut Board of Education Wednesday afternoon, all voicing concerns with the current federally instilled independent educational evaluations or IEE's their children with special needs receive.

The concern parents said is not all kids are being treated the same from school district to school district. Speakers proposed a new regulation allowing parents or independent evaluators to come to class with their child. A practice BOE attorney's said is already allowed. But parents argue it’s not consistent across the state.

"The concern is that some kids don't have that ability to tell us what's happening so it's imperative for parents to have that information," said mother Melissa Sullivan of Suffield.

After more than four hours board members decided to create a new task force. The team is assembled by school officials, other stake holders.

The objective will be to collect data from current federal IEE's and their implementation. Also collect input from future public discussions regarding both IEES's and matters proposed on the petition.

"If there are any problems, then the problems can be addressed by monitoring the enforcement of existing federal rules," said Board of Education Legal Director Peter Haberlandt.

The task force will have to report back to the BOE with their finding within the next 180 days with their findings.

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