State Board of Education considering ESI changes

By Kansas Association of School Boards
December 10, 2014

The Kansas State Board of Education on Tuesday advanced a proposal for parents to appeal decisions of local boards in disputes over whether a child had been improperly secluded or restrained.

The decision came on an 8-2 vote and means the proposed changes to the Emergency Safety Intervention regulations will now go to the Kansas Department of Administration and Kansas Attorney General's Office for review.

After that review, the proposal will go back to the Board for a public hearing. Officials said the process will probably take eight months to a year.

The plan offers parents and students an opportunity to seek an administrative review of local school boards' resolutions of complaints filed regarding the use of ESI.

The two votes against the proposal were cast by Janet Waugh, D-Kansas City, and Ken Willard, R-Hutchinson. Waugh said school districts in her area said the changes were unnecessary. Willard indicated he didn't think the appeals process was strong enough.

The Disability Rights Center of Kansas has pushed for changes, saying there should be a uniform standard throughout all school districts and the current process favors local school boards over parents and students when there are disputes.

KASB, however, has raised concerns, arguing the proposed appeals process would be unconstitutional and is unnecessary because there have been few complaints under the current ESI regulations, which went into effect less than two years ago.