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July 10, 2012
Children's Law Center submitted comments to the Office of the State Superintendent on Education on proposed changes DC's regulations regarding the Early Internvention Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities. CLC favors the proposed widening of eligibility criteria but offers a few suggestions to improve the proposal. Read a summary below or download the comments (PDF).
The proposed regulations significantly broaden the eligibility criteria for early intervention and potentially double the number of children found eligible for the program; CLC supports this change, but notes that even with this expansion, DC's criteria would still be stricter than those of most other states. Further expanding eligibility would ultimately reduce the burden on the city's special education system, as many interventions are most effective when provided before children begin elementary school.
Under the proposal, families would also be able to extend their child's services until pre-kindergarten, rather than the current cutoff at age 3. CLC suggests allowing for another year's extension until kindergarten.
CLC also has concerns over provisions in the proposal about conducting evaluations and assessments in the child's native language; ensuring DC foster children are entitled to the services if eligible; and several technical suggestions to change wording.
The Children’s Law Center is an amazing advocate for DC’s children. CLC gives children the best legal representation possible, through experienced and phenomenally devoted and creative staff. They will go to any length to make sure that vulnerable children get the help they need. Equally impressive, CLC uses the experiences from serving children directly to promote public policy changes that help all of the city’s children — bringing us closer to the day when every child has a safe and stable home.
Executive Director, DC Fiscal Policy Institute
Member, CLC Board of Directors