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December 11, 2006

Special Session House Bill 14: An Act Concerning Special Education

Authors:
Representatives Rubley, Grucela, Melia, Steil, Benninghoff, Boyd, Caltagirone, Clymer, Diven, Freeman, Gingrich, Hanna, Killion, Markosek, McIlhattan, Nailor, O’Neill, Pyle, Readshaw, Reed, Santoni, Sather, Scavello, Shaner, R. Stevenson, Surra, E.Z. Taylor, Tigue, True, Watson, Wilt, Wright, Yudichak, Bunt, Geist, Costa, Roberts, Levdansky, and Hutchinson

Summary:
This bill would have created the Office of Special education within the Department of Education, shifting the responsibilities for special education away from the local school district. One of the powers and duties of the new office would have been “To examine all exceptional students with disabilities to determine whether or not such students would meet the necessary standards and qualifications of the State Board of Education to qualify as an exceptional student with a disability.” This appears to have required mandatory evaluations of all students with learning disabilities even though the parents might object to the evaluations or have no desire to receive special education services from the public school system.

Another area of concern in this bill were the proposed changes to Section 13-1327, the compulsory school attendance statute. Parents with a child who has been identified as needing special education services would have been required to file their affidavit with approval of their program with the Department of Education. They would have continued to have to file the same documentation with their local school district under Section 13-1327.1, the home education statute. Additionally, the parent would have to request special education services from the Department of Education, not the local school district. Further, services would only have been provided if the parent and Department of Education, not the school district, agreed to provision of the services.

This bill would have added more bureaucracy to state government and required homeschooling parents of children with special needs to deal with both state and local school officials. It also appears to create mandatory evaluations of special needs students to determine whether they qualify for services.

Status:

10/17/2005Introduced and Referred to Finance Committee
12/5/2005Re-reported as amended, first consideration, and laid on table
12/6/2005Removed from table, second consideration, and re-referred to Appropriations Committee
12/12/2005Re-reported as committed
3/6/2006 Laid on table and removed from table
11/28/2006 This bill died when the Legislature adjourned.

HSLDA's Position:
HSLDA opposed this bill.

Action Requested:
None at this time.

 Other Resources

Bill Text   (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Bill History