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Connecticut School Districts Must Implement New Suspension Law for the 2009-2010 School Year

As readers may recall, PA 07-66 created new standards for student suspensions in Connecticut requiring that student suspensions pursuant to 10-233c be in-school suspensions, unless the administration determines that the pupil being suspended poses such a danger to persons or property or such a disruption of the educational process that the pupil should be excluded from school during the period of suspension.

The effective date of PA-07-66 was delayed by PA 08-160. PA 08-160 delayed implementation of the law from July 1, 2008 to July 1, 2009. While rumors abounded regarding a possible further postponement of the implementation date, no legislation was passed during this past legislative year or during any special session, nor is there any  legislation pending that would change the implementation date. The time has come, effective as of July 1, 2009, for implementation of that law. School districts are to implement the new rules for the 2009-2010 year. School districts are required to have in school suspension programs in place that are functional for the coming school year. Remember that each school does not have to have an individual in school suspension location and that a district wide location would be acceptable. The guidelines state that if a student is assigned to an in-school suspension location other than the student’s usual school, “the pupil may be eligible to receive transportation services pursuant to and in accordance with the transportation policy of the school district”, suggesting that districts should have (or develop) policies to address this issue. For additional guidance, see Commissioner of Education Mark McQuillan guidance document dated October 1, 2008 which is available on the State Department of Education website and/or contact us for further advice.

Is your district ready?