The D.C. Council’s Education Committee on Thursday unanimously supported special-education legislation intended to speed services to children and give parents more leverage in disputes.
The legislation, which is scheduled to go to the full council for a vote in the fall, is contained in a package of three bills that D.C. Council member David A. Catania (I-At Large) proposed in March.
The legislation would cut in half the time schools have to evaluate a child referred for services. D.C. schools now have up to 120 days to offer students an evaluation, the most time in the country. Schools would also have to provide parents with information before special-education meetings and develop transition plans earlier to better prepare students for adult life.
Educators would also try to identify and serve children with disabilities earlier and more efficiently to improve their chances of being successful in school. The legislation would expand the number of infants and toddlers who are eligible for special services, building on a program expansion initiated last year by Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D)...