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“Surprising New Legislation Delays the Implementation Date for Connecticut’s In School Suspension Law to July 1, 2010”

On October 5, 2009, Governor Rell signed Senate Bill 2053, An Act Implementing the Provisions of the Budget Concerning Education, Authorizing State Grant Commitments for School Building Projects, and Making Changes to the Statutes Concerning Building Projects and Other Education Statutes. Section 56 of this bill addresses CGS 10-233c, Connecticut’s student suspension law. CGS 10-233c was revised two years ago to favor in school suspensions over out of school suspensions for Connecticut students and changes the allowable days for an in school suspension from five to ten days. Pursuant to Senate Bill 2053, the legislature has voted to once again delay the date for implementation of the law; this time to July 1, 2010.

Connecticut’s revised student suspension law went into effect as of July 1, 2009 and with the advent of the new 2009-2010 academic school year, school administrators were legally obligated to apply that law in meting out school discipline. What a difference a month or so can make! In light of the newest legislation, schools must change their newer practice and again apply the former law. Under the former law, in school suspensions are allowable for up to five days and out of school suspension for up to ten days and the determination whether or not to assign an out of school or in school suspension is left to the discretion of the administration with no automatic presumption in favor of in school suspension.
It remains yet undetermined who will prevail in the apparent battle of the wills between the professional school and educational community who has expressed concerns about the practical application and the necessity of the new law and Connecticut state legislators who have weighed in with their opinions about how Connecticut students should be disciplined. Stay tuned to see how this will play out.