Marcella E. Franczkowski, Chair (chosen by Governor)

Appointed by Governor: B. Gigi Ayeh-Robertson; Carol Beck; Marie C. Brayman; Ellen A. Callegary, Esq.; Harold J. Cyr, Jr.; George P. Failla, Jr.; Dorie Flynn; Sandra H. French; Chabre V. Hall; Kalman R. Hettleman; Angela Vaughn Lee; TaKesha L. Lee; Leslie Seid Margolis, Esq.; Gwendolyn J. Mason; Theresa Parham; Denise Oakes Shaffer; Janet S. Wilson, Ph.D.

Appointed by Senate President: Karen S. Montgomery; Paul G. Pinsky.

Appointed by House Speaker: Eric G. Luedtke; Alonzo T. Washington.

Appointed by Maryland School Psychologists' Association: Stephanie E. Livesay

Appointed by Maryland State Educators' Association: Thomasina Fabri

Ex officio: Lillian M. Lowery, Ed.D., State Superintendent of Schools.

Staff: Donna R. Riley

c/o Division of Special Education & Early Intervention Services, State Department of Education
Nancy S. Grasmick State Education Building
200 West Baltimore St., Baltimore, MD 21201
(410) 767-0249

In June 2013, the Commission on Special Education Access and Equity was created (Chapter 671, Acts of 2013).

The Commission worked to determine to what extent parents and guardians of students with disabilities are aware of their rights under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. sec. 1400 et seq.) and similar State laws and regulations, and how to improve their awareness of such rights. Further, the Commission studied the role of disparities, such as race, national origin, and limited English proficiency, and how to eradicate any disparities that affect: knowledge of and access to special education services; rights under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; access to and participation in mediation and appeals relating to Individualized Education Programs; and access to and participation in free and reduced price meals. Also, the Commission considered what factors negatively impact the ability of educators to provide a free and appropriate public education as mandated by federal law, and how to mitigate any of those factors. Finally, the Commission examined concerns about equity between parties involved in special education due process hearings, how to improve the process, and the cost of any proposals considered or recommended by the Commission.

Twenty-five members constituted the Commission. Of these, eighteen were appointed by the Governor who named the chair.

In June 2014, the Commission submitted its report to the Governor, the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee, and the House Ways and Means Committee.

Authorization for the Commission ended June 30, 2014.

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