Parents seek to change burden of proof for special education students

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - A push by parents is underway in Annapolis to change the way school districts handle students with special needs.

Parents are advocating for a law that would flip the burden of proof in special education hearings. Now instead of parents having to prove the school is failing, the school would need to prove that they are doing a good job.

 “You kind of look at it and you say, well this system that rewards failure, how can we make changes?” said Robert Gillette, a parent. “And this is one way I think that we can make a change, is to say OK if there's a dispute, let's put that burden of proof on the agency who has more resources.”

Among those supporting the effort, which had hearings Wednesday in Annapolis in both the state Senate and House of Delegates, is the Maryland Coalition for Special Education Rights and Burden of Proof. More than 1,600 parents have signed a petition online to get this policy changed.

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