OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5347

AN ACT CONCERNING THE REPORTING OF CHILDREN PLACED IN SECLUSION.

SUMMARY:

This bill requires local school boards and other entities providing special education to children, when recording instances when seclusion or restraints are used on a child, to indicate whether these actions are in accordance with the child's individualized education program (IEP).

The bill also requires, rather than allows, the State Board of Education (SBE) to review this information and summarize it, including whether such actions result in physical injuries to the children. The SBE must provide these summaries annually to the Children's Committee for inclusion in the children's report card.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2012

USE OF RESTRAINTS AND SECLUSION WITH CHILDREN RECEIVING SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES

Local Compilation of Data

By law, each local or regional school board, institution, and facility that provides special education to a child must record (1) each instance when physical restraint or seclusion is used on a child and (2) the nature of the emergency that necessitated the action and include the information in an annual compilation for the state. Under the bill, these entities must also specify whether the use of the restraint or seclusion was in accordance with a child's IEP. The entities are also required, rather than given the option, to report to the SBE any instance in which the use of a restraint or seclusion results in the child's physical injury.

SBE to Issue Summary Report

The bill requires, rather than allows, the SBE to review these compilations and provide annual summaries identifying the frequency with which restraints and seclusion were used. And it requires the board to include in the summary (1) the information about the IEPs and (2) instances in which the use of restraints or seclusion resulted in the child's physical injury.

The SBE must submit the summary report by each October 1 to the Children's Committee for inclusion in the General Assembly's annual report card on children's well-being.

BACKGROUND

Use of Seclusion or Restraints on Children

By law, special education children generally may not be involuntarily placed in seclusion except (1) as an emergency intervention to prevent immediate or imminent injury to the child or others or (2) their IEP provides for such. The special education providers listed above must notify the child's parents or guardians of each incident in which a child is placed in seclusion or a physical restraint is used (CGS 46a-152 (b)).

Children's Report Card

The Select Committee on Children is required by law to maintain an annual report card on the progress of state policies and programs promoting child well-being.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Select Committee on Children

Joint Favorable Substitute Change of Reference

Yea

8

Nay

0

(03/08/2012)

Education Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

31

Nay

0

(03/23/2012)