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April 14, 2023

Garcia, Young Bill to Improve Student Outcomes Clears House

DENVER, CO - The House today unanimously passed legislation by a vote of 64-0 to reduce language barriers for special education learning plans.

“Currently, drafts of an individualized learning plan for a special education student are not provided in any language but English, making it difficult for families that do not speak English in their home to understand the details of their child’s learning plan,” said Rep. Lorena Garcia, D-Unincorporated Adams County. “Families want to be involved in this drafting process and have important insight to offer in crafting a learning plan that is catered to their child’s development. By passing this bill, schools will have the resources needed to provide this necessary service so families and teachers can create the best learning plan for the student.”

“Parents and special education teachers need to collaborate to find the best learning plan that works for their children,” said Rep. Mary Young, D-Greeley. “Language barriers can stand in the way of meaningful discussions between families, teachers, and other school support team members, making it difficult to find a plan that best encourages educational improvement. Passing this legislation means that schools will have access to translation resources to reduce language barriers and enable teamwork.”

Under current Colorado law, every public school student that qualifies for and receives special education services must have an individualized education program (IEP). The IEP is catered to each individual student and aims to improve their educational results and ability to learn in the classroom. HB23-1263 would require the IEP, the draft IEP, and any other related documents to be translated to the primary language spoken at the students’ home as necessary.

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