Kaitlin Merwin 0

Join the Fight for NH Families! Please Sign this Petition for Passing HB581 Burden of Proof

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New Hampshire parents and guardians of Special Needs Children and community members, undersigned, urge the NH State Senators to support HB581 related to shifting the burden of proof in special education due process hearings and study committee.

We are parents of children with disabilities and our children have not been provided with the services needed for our children to become independent, productive members of our community.

NH school districts are more concerned about their special education costs rather than the needs of our children, meeting federal IDEA and state requirements.

NH school districts know that parents have little chance of succeeding in due process hearings due to their disadvantages and that few parents can afford the costs of a hearing. As a result, NH school districts (and their contracted law firms) deny services to our kids, specifically targeting:

● Single parent households

● Low income households

● Minority households

NH school districts control the process knowing that parents have few options and our kids will not be their “obligation” after age 21.

NH Children with IEPs (roughly 20% of any class and approximately 36000 kids) statewide are:

● Scoring 14% proficient in math

● Scoring 17% proficient in reading

This renders them unemployable or underemployed and incapable of independent living and successful participation in our society.

Having that large a portion of students not gaining a proper education is unsustainable. It is not what we want, not what our kids want, and not what our community can sustain. NH school districts argue over a few thousand dollars worth of services but ignore the millions and billions which will be required to support this population if they can not be independent, can not work, and are not educated..

We believe that HB581 and changes to the burden of proof in due process hearings will level the playing field and remove the district incentives to delay the IEP process. NH school districts also have liability insurance which covers all of their due process costs. Parents have no such luxury and have to front the cost of a small car to go to due process just to get the services their child should have been receiving all along.

Tell the New Hampshire State Senators to pass HB581 and provide help to parents with children with disabilities in our efforts to work with districts to get the needed services and education for our children.

Let’s put the needs of children with disabilities first!

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