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Photo of Senator Bob Duff.

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER

Bob Duff

Standing Up For You!

Standing Up for Special Education Students

This week I joined parents of special education students and advocates to vow to fight against several proposals that will make it harder for special needs students to receive appropriate educational services.

Video of Senator Duff.

Senate Bill 408, An Act Concerning Independent Evaluations and the Burden of Proof in Special Education Hearings, and House Bill 5787, An Act Shifting the Burden of Proof in Special Education Hearings, would shift the burden of proof in special education hearings from the school district to parents. In other words, the parents would have to prove that the that the special education plan developed by the district for their child is inadequate, a burden which is currently on the district.

Drastically changing the burden of proof process puts parents at a clear disadvantage, by shifting the burden of proof onto their shoulders. Parents without the financial resources are less likely to be able to hire an attorney and find an expert witness. Unrepresented parents already face an uphill battle. A free and appropriate public education is critically important to a child's ability to grow into a successful and independent member of society.