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June 5, 2024

SIGNED! Bill to Ensure Students with Disabilities Thrive in School

DENVER, CO – Governor Jared Polis today signed legislation to ensure students with disabilities receive the education they deserve. HB24-1063 will limit repeated or long-term use of an abbreviated schedule for students with disabilities, and clarify when it is permissible and impermissible. 

“Every student deserves access to a high-quality education in our state,” said Rep. Mary Young, D-Greeley. “However, sometimes students with disabilities are being sent home early for a day or longer  – which means they’re being robbed of valuable academics and social-emotional learning. Full day education should be the standard for our students and this law informs parents of their rights, creates a plan to get students back on track to receive a full day of education and makes full day education the norm, not the exception, for every learner. I am committed to making our classrooms and schools more accessible, equitable and welcoming to all and this new law brings us closer to that reality.” 

“Every student deserves a high quality education and every school should have tools to make this a reality,” said Rep. Lorena Garcia, D-Unincorporated Adams County. “While abbreviated school days are one of those tools, this law will ensure that this tool is being used responsibly with parental consent to ensure the best educational outcomes for all children. Additionally, our law informs parents of their rights and creates a clear legal framework to ensure every student, especially those with disabilities and additional learning needs, has access to a full day of school.”

HB24-1063 establishes policies for the use of an abbreviated school day for students with disabilities. Right now, some students with disabilities are sent home early, put on an inconsistent abbreviated schedule, or forced to learn virtually because of behaviors related to their disability. This law will ensure that parents receive proper notice, including their right to consent to, revoke consent, or oppose an abbreviated school day for their child. It also requires regular meetings for the students' Individualized Education Program team to discuss the value or need for continuing an abbreviated or shortened day, ensures that there is a plan in place for the child to get back to attending a full day of school, and provides a clear legal framework for students who are not being awarded a full day of school. 

Additionally, this law will collect data about the frequency of students not attending a full day of school due to being placed on a shortened schedule, as well as disaggregated student data to better understand the impact of abbreviated school days on students with disabilities and varying abilities.

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