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Special Education Equity for Kids in Connecticut (SEEK)

Andrew Feinstein Feb. 16, 2023

I am Andrew Feinstein, the Legislative Chair of Special Education Equity for Kids in Connecticut (SEEK), an organization of parents, providers, attorneys and advocates fighting for the rights and high quality education of students with disabilities.

I testify in favor of HB 6644. Too many children who profit from Birth to Three Services fail to receive the sort of special education services they need after they turn three. Some simply never enter the special education system at all. Others receive rather trivial services until they reach kindergarten age. This is a particular shame because ages three to five are the years when the brain is most plastic, most capable of learning patterns of thinking and learning that can make them successful students.

Section 1 of HB 6644 amends current law to place new obligations on Birth to Three providers to ensure that parents know their rights to special education and know how to access those rights. It turns Birth to Three providers into the advocates for their clients that they want to be.

Section 2 orders the State Department of Education to publish needed material. Much of what is required by this section may already exist, but enacting the requirement in law will put new emphasis on its publication and distribution.

Section 3 merely instructs local school districts to distribute the publications of the Department of Education.

This is good legislation. SEEK urges the Committee to favorably report it