Parents and their private psychologists, educational consultants, and other service providers need to be able to observe the educational programs of their children in school in order to be full participants on their child’s team and in order to understand whether their child has an appropriate educational program. Many school districts unfairly block or limit such observations. While this is a matter that the State Board of Education directed the State Department of Education to address, the CSDE recently issued guidance which has made the situation worse. SEEK-CT plans to develop legislation to correct this problem.
Federal regulations provide the opportunity for children with disabilities to have Independent Educational Evaluations (IEEs) at public expense when the parents disagree with a school evaluation. An expert evaluation is an essential instrument to ensure that a student with a disability has an appropriate program. Especially for parents of limited means, the IEE permits their participation in the special education process, by having the cost of such evaluation funded by the school district. Unfortunately, CSDE issued guidance on IEEs last year that has made such evaluations less available to children with disabilities. We need legislation to correct this and to keep the focus on the needs of children, rather than the interests of adults.
SEEK of CT is a social welfare organization, organized under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations to 501(c)(4) organizations are not tax-deductible for the individual or corporation making the donation. 501(c)(4) organizations are required to disclose certain information publicly, although we are not required to disclose the name and address of any contributor to the organization. Under this statute, we are permitted to lobby extensively and to participate in political activity in support of or opposition to candidates for office, as long as such election activities are not our primary activity