A prolonged effort to clarify the state's special education regulations has hit a stumbling block. Many members of the state Board of Education don't understand some of the proposed changes or the impact they would have on a student's ability to get needed services.
After a lengthy, question-filled discussion Wednesday, the board voted to hold off approval until March, after a separate, independent study is done to determine the cost of a suggestion that the "burden of proof" in special education due process hearings be shifted to parents if they initiate the hearing.
The proposal to shift the burden is not part of the changes proposed by state Department of Education officials, but represents a large percentage of the 85 letters and communications the state school board has received on the issue.
School boards favor the change because of the high cost of providing special education, especially at a time when budgets and services are being cut around the state.