Tuesday, March 14, 2006

BoE finally votes on special education changes

After twice delaying the vote the Board of Education has approved a change to the way due process appeals regarding special education are handled. Previously in cases where parents or guardians sued over the quality of special education the burden of proof for what met the standard of "adequate" for special education fell on the state. Last November the Supreme Court upheld a Maryland law stating that the burden of proof for "adequacy" fell on the parties suing over special education.
As a compromise, the board agreed to enact the policy for a year and then evaluate it. The measure, which takes effect immediately, will be evaluated to determine whether the number of due-process hearings has decreased, whether the school system is winning more of those cases and whether more disputes are settled in resolution meetings.

"Saving money would be the critical measure," said Vice President Carolyn N. Graham, who chaired a committee that studied how to improve special education services and reduce the budget.

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