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HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 421        FILED ON: 1/14/2011

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 168


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



Theodore C. Speliotis


To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act to provide equal opportunities for special education.






Theodore C. Speliotis

13th Essex

Alice K. Wolf

25th Middlesex

Sal N. DiDomenico

Middlesex, Suffolk, and Essex

James B. Eldridge


Susan C. Fargo


Patricia D. Jehlen


Kay Khan

11th Middlesex

David Paul Linsky

5th Middlesex

James J. O'Day

14th Worcester

Tom Sannicandro

7th Middlesex

Carl M. Sciortino, Jr.

34th Middlesex

Frank I. Smizik

15th Norfolk

Ellen Story

3rd Hampshire

David B. Sullivan

6th Bristol

Jennifer E. Benson

37th Middlesex

HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 421        FILED ON: 1/14/2011

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 168

By Mr. Speliotis of Danvers, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 168) of Theodore C. Speliotis and others for legislation to provide equal opportunity for special education.  Education. 


SEE HOUSE, NO. 487 OF 2009-2010.]


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



In the Year Two Thousand Eleven



An Act to provide equal opportunities for special education.


              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

                              Section 3 of chapter 71B of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2006 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the twelfth paragraph the following paragraph:—

              Parents, guardians or persons with custody of a student and, in the case of students with legal authority to act in their own behalf, students who have either requested a hearing before the bureau of special education appeals seeking resolution of any dispute or are parties to a proceeding initiated by a school committee at such bureau shall be entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees and costs, including the costs of experts, as a prevailing party if they obtain relief on a significant claim as a result of such request, or an appeal thereof, that effects a material alteration in the parties’ legal relationship, and is not merely de minimis, or if they achieve a favorable result in defense of the school committee’s action, whether such relief is the result of a voluntary change in the school committee’s conduct, a settlement agreement, or a decision or order issued by a hearing officer or court.

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