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May 25, 2023

SIGNED! Garcia, Young Law Improves Student Outcomes

DENVER, CO - Lieutenant Governor Dianne Primavera today signed legislation to reduce language barriers in special education learning plans.

“English proficiency should not stand in the way of a parent or legal guardian’s ability to participate in their child’s special education learning plan,” said Rep. Lorena Garcia, D-Unincorporated Adams County. “This new law is necessary so families can have a hands-on role in crafting their child’s learning plan, even if they don’t share the same language as their student’s educators. I’m proud to provide schools this resource to better serve families, special education staff, and students.”

“Parents’ input is crucial in determining if their children are eligible for special education services and what type of support is needed in their Individualized Educational Plan,” said Rep. Mary Young, D-Greeley. “Language barriers can make it difficult for families, teachers, and other school support staff to collaborate on an Individualized Educational Plan that provides the best path to achieving educational goals. With this new law, parents and school staff can work together to best support the student in their learning journey.”

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 requires 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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