The Special Education Select Working Group was formed as a sub-committee of the MORE Commission in December, 2013 with the mission of determining how to provide special education in a more effective manner. Our group works in a bi-partisan and collaborative manner, and brings together legislators, town and school officials, advocates and citizens to address critical issues in special education.
During our first year, the working group held information gathering meetings to try to ascertain how the existing special education system works, what programs are available, and how those programs are funded. Some additional specific meeting topics have included the role of private special education providers, the role of the Regional Educational Service Centers (RESCs) in special education, the effectiveness of existing transition services (from the K-12 system to post-graduation opportunities), and how special education services are delivered in other states. We also held a series of public hearings in different locations around the state to gain a better perspective on the special education system at a local level. During each hearing we asked parents, teachers, advocates, administrators, and other interested parties to offer testimony in response to the broad question: What are the systematic challenges to special education and what are some possible solutions? The responses and suggestions we received and the information we learned during those hearings was invaluable and has informed our recommendations for legislative action.
In February of 2015 the working group released its Recommendations for Legislative Action, representing the culmination of our year-long efforts to provide the Connecticut General Assembly with a set of working recommendations for legislative action. Our group will continue to meet throughout 2015 to begin work on our next set of recommendations for legislative action and we welcome and encourage your participation in this process.