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Last year, the General Assembly enacted several pieces of legislation that require school districts to provide parents of students receiving special education services with certain resources created by the Connecticut State Department of Education (SDE).  One piece of legislation, Section 45 of Public Act 23-137, required SDE’s Mediation Services Coordinator to, among other things, “[c]reate a brief notice of the availability of mediation services suitable to be read out loud during a planning and placement team meeting” that includes a link to a “plain language resource” explaining the mediation process.  Section 39 of that Act, in turn, requires school districts to provide that notice to parents of students receiving special education services at the beginning of each school year and “read[] such notice out loud at the conclusion of the first planning and placement team meeting at the beginning of each school year.”

On January 25, 2024, SDE issued a memorandum informing all public school districts that effective immediately, all districts must read aloud and distribute the following notice at PPT meetings: 

“The procedural safeguards explain student and parent rights under IDEA and identify dispute-resolution options, including the right to voluntarily engage in mediation.” A Parent’s Guide to Special Education 2021 (ct.gov) 

School districts will want to ensure that those chairing PPT meetings add this oral statement and the provision of this notice, including the accompanying link to the plain language resource, to the applicable PPT agenda to comply with this new obligation.  Teams may also wish to counterbalance this new requirement by emphasizing the importance of the collaborative nature of the PPT process and the district’s commitment to partner with parents to develop appropriate programming for their children.

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Photo of Andreana R. Bellach Andreana R. Bellach

Andreana represents boards of education in education law matters, labor relations and employment law, including labor negotiations for certified and non-certified staff, grievance arbitration, freedom of information hearings, student disciplinary matters, special education disputes, and education policies and practices. Andreana frequently speaks on…

Andreana represents boards of education in education law matters, labor relations and employment law, including labor negotiations for certified and non-certified staff, grievance arbitration, freedom of information hearings, student disciplinary matters, special education disputes, and education policies and practices. Andreana frequently speaks on education law and labor relations matter.

Photo of Peter J. Maher Peter J. Maher

Peter Maher represents boards of education and other entities in all areas of school law, with an emphasis on special education issues, labor and employment matters and, more recently, issues related to school operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. A former educator, Peter draws…

Peter Maher represents boards of education and other entities in all areas of school law, with an emphasis on special education issues, labor and employment matters and, more recently, issues related to school operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. A former educator, Peter draws on his firsthand knowledge of the needs and goals of school stakeholders to provide practical, community-specific and timely counsel that helps prevent problems when possible and solve them when necessary. Whether navigating sensitive special education matters or advising on day-to-day district operations, he partners with his clients to identify opportunities and pursue a clear path in the face of today’s challenges.

Photo of Julie P. Reznik Julie P. Reznik

Julie Reznik is a member of the firm’s School Law Practice Group. She advises public school districts on a variety of general education, special education and labor and employment issues. Julie focuses her practice on special education matters and disputes, student discipline, and…

Julie Reznik is a member of the firm’s School Law Practice Group. She advises public school districts on a variety of general education, special education and labor and employment issues. Julie focuses her practice on special education matters and disputes, student discipline, and the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). She also serves on the firm’s Model Policy Committee, which provides a comprehensive set of model policies and administrative regulations, as well as model notifications and forms, for Connecticut boards of education and charter schools.