2024 Public Comment / HB 485

Updated: 2 months ago
Public Policy

February 15, 2024
Nate Crippes / Public Affairs Supervising Attorney
ncrippes@disabilitylawcenter.org
Andrew Riggle / Public Policy Advocate
ariggle@disabilitylawcenter.org
(801) 363-1347 / (800) 662-9080
disabilitylawcenter.org

The Disability Law Center supports H.B. 485, and we appreciate Rep. Judkins for her work to improve the special education system.  Right now, we are seeing a lot of LEAs look to consolidate special education services, particularly for students with intellectual disabilities.  The leads to students with ID being bused away from their neighborhood school, away from their friends and siblings.  In addition, they’re often not in the general education classroom, further segregated from their nondisabled peers.  There are a number of reasons why LEAs may struggle to provide an education to students with intellectual disabilities in the general education classroom.  We believe is a step toward addressing some of those barriers.

To fulfill the promises of the IDEA and ADA of an integrated and inclusive society for people with disabilities, we have to do more.  And it must start here, with kids.  As long as we continue to separate kids with disabilities from their nondisabled peers in schools, we will likely perpetuate the stigma and discrimination that has led to the exclusion of people with disabilities in employment, housing, and other opportunities that allow them to lead independent, self-directed lives.

A pilot program to allow LEAs to use co-teaching and other practices to ensure students with disabilities have the support they need is a good step top realizing that society.  The pilot program will track data and outcomes, so we can build upon this to ensure that all students with disabilities in Utah have the support they need.  We urge you to support this bill.

 

Thank you.

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