The Arc Connecticut Files Amicus Brief in Special Education Case

In early January, The Arc and The Arc Connecticut filed an amicus brief in Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding, Inc. v. Rell before the Supreme Court of Connecticut. The brief argues that the trial court’s requirement that the state adopt standards that focus its special education efforts on students “who can profit from some form of elementary and secondary education,” rather than “spend fruitlessly on some at the expense of others,” violates the IDEA, which mandates that all students with disabilities be provided a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. The brief focuses on research demonstrating that even students with the most severe disabilities can learn and often exceed expectations, the legislative history of the IDEA making clear that all students with disabilities are guaranteed the right to an education, and the fact that failure to educate these students violates the ADA’s “integration mandate” which has been vital in ensuring that people with disabilities have access to opportunities that allow them to live in the community, learn in general education settings, obtain post-secondary education, and work in integrated jobs at competitive wages. The full brief can be found here. Recently, the Hartford Courant covered The Arc’s work challenging this decision and quoted Shannon Jacovino, The Arc Connecticut’s Director of Public Policy as saying: “Intentionally or not, Moukawsher’s ruling pits special education students against regular education students. If this happened with students’ race or religion, there would be a massive outcry.” The full article can be found here.