Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Dispatch from the GA: Senate Education Committee Passes HB 12

The Senate Education Committee gave a favorable report today to HB 12 Students with Disabilities and Special Education Changes. House Bill 12 implements a recommendation of the House Select Committee on Education of Students with Disabilities.

It restores a protection for students who have not yet been identified as needing special education services, but whose behavior clearly indicates the need for such services.

In the committee meeting today Representative Rick Glazier (D) and Representative Laura Wiley (R) spoke passionately about the need to identify and protect a small group of students who are falling through the gaps. Representative Wiley gave the example of a child who was identified as a disruptive student. The student would "act up" in the classroom and faced multiple disciplinary actions during their academic career. This student was placed in a pull out class taught by Representative Wiley. During a test period the student's behavior became disruptive. When asked why are you acting this way? The student responded "I don't know". Turns out this child had tourettes and was never properly identified. This is the student who would be helped by this bill.

HB 12 will now go to the Senate floor for a vote.

We congratulate Representative Rick Glazier on his leadership and dedication to children with disabilities. This legislation will go a long way to helping the children who all to often exist in the margins and are not helped by the system.

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