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A joint Statement by the Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center and the Connecticut Council of Administrators of Special Education in support of Governor Malloy’s veto of PA 18-89.

June 25th, 2018

A joint Statement by the Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center and the Connecticut Council of
Administrators of Special Education in support of Governor Malloy’s veto of PA 18-89.
Today the Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center (CPAC), and Connecticut Council of
Administrators of Special Education (CONNCASE) are expressing our shared opposition to PA
18-89 and our wish that the members of the Connecticut General Assembly will vote to sustain
the Governor’s veto.

Our two organizations are speaking out together to highlight the very great danger this Act
presents to the rights and welfare of the state’s children with disabilities. We both agree that the
safety of students and teachers in classrooms is of paramount importance, but it is clear that the
language in 18-89 will result in the violation of the rights of children with disabilities, poor
educational results, greater conflict between families and their schools and costly legal action. ”
We both agree that the safety of students and teachers in classrooms and well-conceived means to address
or enhance it is of paramount importance.

For children with disabilities and those who may have them the IDEA provides a process for
children who act in ways that would interfere with their education. It includes a review of he
information available on the child by a team including teachers, administrators the parents and
professionals who can appropriately identify the causes of the behavior. It includes mechanisms
to place the child in a different class if needed, and requires a plan to help address the child’s
behavior. This Act gives an unfettered ability to remove a child from education regardless of his
challenges or needs. It interferes with those rights and takes decisions from the appropriate team
and places them in the hands of an individual teacher or an ill-defined group that may not have
the information or expertise to make decisions in the interest of the child or the others in the
class.

It is clear that a school’s attempt to act on this law will result in immediate legal action by
parents. It will take resources out of the classroom to cover the costs of those actions, all while
taking educational opportunity from some of our most vulnerable children.
CONNCASE and CPAC stand together in our support of effective laws to protect he safety of
people in our classrooms, but we insist that those laws do not try to achieve that safety on the
backs of children in need. We look forward to the chance to work with everyone who works for
the education of our children to craft a new law that will make our classrooms safer places.

John M. Flanders, Esq.
Executive Director
Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center

Carl Gross
President
Connecticut Council of Administrators of Special Education