The Education Law Center provided comments to the New Jersey Department of Education regarding its “pre-proposed amendments” to the State Special Education Code as well as its Programs to Support Student Development Code.

ELC’s comments on the Special Education Code highlighted ELC’s support of the proposed mandate of special education parent advisory groups, the proposed mandate that inclusive extracurricular and nonacademic activities be discussed in the IEPs of students in out-of-district placements, and the mandate that unique circumstances be considered in determining whether to impose disciplinary sanctions on students with disabilities. ELC urged immediate amendment of numerous other provisions, including the elimination of short-term objectives and benchmarks, the excusal of IEP team members from IEP meetings, allowing amendments of IEPs without IEP meetings, allowing removal of students to interim alternative educational placements for up to 45 school days and the elimination of the stay-put provision for students appealing disciplinary actions.

ELC’s comments on the Programs to Support Student Development Code highlighted the need for the following: health services regulations governing preschoolers and a prohibition against suspension and expulsion for all preschoolers; coverage for students in state facilities; lead screening in schools for preschoolers and elementary students; increase in home instruction hours for students who are ill; use of home instruction as a last resort; elimination of a proposed minimum enrollment requirement for alternative education programs; and establishment of procedural safeguards for transfers to alternative education programs.

ELC Senior Attorney Ruth Lowenkron prepared the comments regarding the Special Education Code, while ELC Senior Attorney Elizabeth Athos prepared the comments regarding the Programs to Support Student Development Code. Lowenkron and Athos urge concerned parents and advocates to advise the Department of their support for ELC’s comments as soon as possible.

Education Law Center Contacts:
Ruth Lowenkron, Esq.
Senior Attorney
voice: 973 624-1815 x21
TTY:  973-624-4618  

Elizabeth Athos, Esq.
Senior Attorney
voice: 973 624-1815 x20
TTY:  973-624-4618

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Press Contact:
Sharon Krengel
Director of Policy, Strategic Partnerships and Communications
973-624-1815, x240