NJ mom’s struggle to help her special needs son — ‘What do I do?’
We've reported on the issue facing a family of a special needs child in Bridgewater earlier this week.
The story is that the family of a second grader is being forced by the school district, backed up by a recent judges ruling to reimburse the district for $38,329.20 because they claim that the student doesn't live in Bridgewater.
This morning on the show I had a good conversation with the second graders mom, Michelle about her difficult situation. She explained to me that her family does in fact live in Bridgewater in her in-laws home. They've lived there for an extended time and only recently she's had to spend a lot of time caring for her ailing mother in South Bound Brook. For a period of time while she was caring for her elderly mom, the boy's dad checked himself into a rehab facility as he is battling substance abuse.
During that time the boy was spending a lot of time with hi mom at his grandmothers home. So to recap, the family lives in Bridgewater, the taxes on the home are being paid to support the school district, the father is out of rehab and starts a new job on Saturday and the mother is caring for her elderly and sick mom. This is far from a family trying to cheat the system and taxpayers.
Two dilemmas for the family at this point.
First, how to afford $38,000 to pay the court ordered reimbursement and two, where to register her special needs son in the fall? It's a complete disgrace that this family would be pursued in this manner. Why is it in New Jersey those with the greatest need are so often pushed aside by arrogant politicians and blind bureaucrats? Clearly tax paying New Jerseyans have an equal right to send their kid to school like everyone else. Shouldn't we be encouraging this kind of heroic effort on the part of families to help themselves? This family is taking care of their own and just trying to provide their son with the same opportunity afforded everyone else in the state.
Instead of encouragement, in the twisted world of NJ political bureaucracies, families like this get punished while the top elite insiders continue to make deals and rain money on themselves. Thankfully one of the courageous voices in Trenton, Senator Mike Doherty responded to my request this morning and will be in contact with the family and their attorney. I'll continue to keep you posted on the progress. Shame on the person who complained abut the situation and greater shame on the school administration and the judge. Hopefully we can help right this wrong.
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