NJ Lawmakers Aim to Stabilize Environment for Special Needs Kids
Students suffering from developmental disabilities would have more stability in the classroom under a bill that's cleared the Assembly Education Committee. The bill would direct the State Board of Education to create regulations requiring school districts to develop a plan to establish stability in special education programming. The plan would take into account the consistency of location, curriculum and staffing in special education programs.
"Transition and change in routine are very difficult for children suffering with Autism or other developmental disabilities," said Assemblyman Daniel Benson, co-sponsor of the measure. "Those who are shuffled from school-to-school are often prone to regression, which, in some cases, makes learning setbacks almost impossible to overcome. This situation is incredibly frustrating for parents and often times confusing and scary for their children. We can and must do better and hopefully this bill will see to it that we do just that."
The regulations also would require that when developing an individualized education program (IEP), the team has to consider consistency of the location of services when determining in-district special education placements.
"Change is hard for any student at a young age, but doubly so when it is a student with special needs," said bill co-sponsor Assemblywoman Connie Wagner. "Families deserve to have a school system that is working with them and not against them. This bill will deliver critical stability to the students who need it most in order to become successful learners."