Maryland General Assembly: Place the Burden of Proof on School Districts in IDEA Due Process Cases to Support Maryland's Most Vulnerable Children (www.burdenofproofmd.org)

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Maryland General Assembly: Place the Burden of Proof on School Districts in IDEA Due Process Cases to Support Maryland's Most Vulnerable Children (www.burdenofproofmd.org)

This petition had 2,141 supporters

N A started this petition to Maryland General Assembly and

Maryland Residents:  Let's tell Annapolis it's time for Maryland to pass special education burden of proof legislation. Visit the Coalition website for more information on this civil right for children.

The IDEA is the federal law that requires the provision of special education services to special needs children in an Individualized Education Program (IEP), and for which the state receives funding. If a school district fails to meet its obligations under the IDEA, a parent can file a due process complaint. Currently, when this happens in Maryland, the parent has the burden of proving the school’s IEP does not provide the special education and related services required by the IDEA. However, Maryland can enact a law putting the burden of proof on the schools, as other states have done, and for reasons of fundamental fairness and state accountability, it should do so.

Legislation placing the burden of proof on the schools is necessary because parents too often face difficulties they should not in getting the special education services their children need. Parents typically lack resources, expertise, and legal skills. In contrast, the school districts know what placements and accommodations are available, and how different children have fared at them. They employ the people, such as teachers and principals, on whom the parents rely for testimony. School districts also have money for attorneys, which most parents do not.

Placing the burden of proof on the schools will help level this playing field. It will also  promote: (1) merit based outcomes; (2) accountability by schools; (3) introspection and collaboration between schools and parents in the creation of IEPs; and (4) fundamental fairness.

For more information visit http://www.burdenofproofmd.org

Petition Closed

This petition had 2,141 supporters