2017 Special Education in Connecticut Summit

Please join us for the

2017 Special Education in Connecticut Summit:
Issues and Solutions in the Wake of CCJEF v. Rell

Co-sponsored by the Klebanoff Institute and the University of Connecticut Neag School of Education

Starr Hall
The Special Education Summit has been made possible through the generous support of the Klebanoff Institute.

Event Details

Date: Friday, May 12, 2017

Time: 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Cost: Free with advance registration. 

Location: University of Connecticut School of Law — 45 Elizabeth Street, William F. Starr Hall, Hartford, Conn.

Parking: You must register your vehicle online to secure free event parking; all event parking information is available here.

Advance registration is required; space is limited.


Overview and Purpose

This daylong event will explore the issues raised in the recent CCJEF v. Rell ruling related to special education in Connecticut. Panel sessions will be held related to:

  1. the CCJEF v. Rell case and ruling;
  2. innovative and equitable service delivery models; and
  3. innovative and equitable funding methods for special education.

The event will be open to a wide audience with an interest in special education services in Connecticut, including families, advocates, persons with disabilities, legislators, school superintendents, and directors of student services. The main objectives will be to initiate a dialogue about the key issues raised in the ruling and to identify possible solutions that benefit special education services in the state.

This event has been made possible through the support of the Klebanoff Institute.

Program Agenda* 

9-9:30 a.m.: Registration; Coffee and Light Breakfast


9:30-9:45 a.m.: Welcome Remarks


9:45-10 a.m.: Opening Remarks by Howard Klebanoff of the Klebanoff Institute

Introduction by Joseph Madaus, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Neag School of Education


10-11:30 a.m. — Panel No. 1: The CCJEF v. Rell Ruling and Its Implications for Special Education in Connecticut

Panel Moderator: Diane Orson, Host of WNPR’s Morning Edition

  • Margaret J. McLaughlin – Professor and Associate Dean for Research, Innovation, and Partnerships, University of Maryland, College Park, College of Education; plaintiffs’ expert witness
  • Nathan Quesnel – Superintendent of Schools, East Hartford Public Schools; plaintiffs’ expert witness
  • Frances Rabinowitz – Former Interim Superintendent, Bridgeport Public Schools; plaintiffs’ expert witness
  • Robert Villanova – Director, Executive Leadership Program, University of Connecticut Neag School of Education; defendants’ expert witness


11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.: Lunch


12:30-1:30 p.m. — Panel No. 2: Equitable Service Delivery for Students and Families: Solutions Going Forward

Panel Moderator: David DesRoches, Education Reporter, WNPR

  • Mary Beth Bruder – Professor and Director, University of Connecticut Center on Excellence in Developmental Disabilities
  • Marisa Halm – Director, TeamChild Juvenile Justice Project, Center for Children’s Advocacy
  • Catherine Holahan – Senior Legal and Policy Advisor, EducationCounsel
  • Betty J. Sternberg – Director, Teacher Leader Fellowship Program, Central Connecticut State University; and Connecticut Commissioner of Education Emeritus


1:30-1:45 p.m.: Break


1:45-2:45 p.m. — Panel No. 3: Ideas for Equitable Financing of Special Education

Panel Moderator: David DesRoches, Education Reporter, WNPR


2:45-3 p.m.: Closing Remarks by Howard Klebanoff of the Klebanoff Institute


3-3:30 p.m.: Networking Reception


*Subject to change

Summit Participant Bios

Find more information about the Special Education Summit’s participants, including:

Parking Information

All registrants for the Special Education in Connecticut Summit must park in Lot B at the UConn School of Law campusPlease be sure to register your vehicle online in order to reserve free parking for the event; your reserved parking will be valid only on May 12, 2017, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.



This event has been made possible
through the generous support of the Klebanoff Institute.