A bill which is aimed at streamlining special education programs in New Jersey’s public schools was signed by Governor Chris Christie this week.
The bill, A1365, creates the Task Force on Improving Special Education for Public School Students, comprised of 16 gubernatorial appointments and the state Education Commissioner. The 16 would include parents, teachers, administrators and advocates involved in the special education community, according to the bill.
The panel would be charged with studying issues such as the methods of classifying special needs students strategies to reduce costs of out-of-district placements and program standards to ensure programs meets students’ needs and focus on achievement.
The task force has 180 days after it organizes to present its findings and recommendations, according to the bill.
The bill was sponsored by Assemblyman Dave Rible, R-Monmouth and Ocean, and cleared both houses of the state legislature by unanimous votes earlier this year. Rible, a Wall Township resident, lauded the passage in a release.
“This is a victory for the hundreds of parents I’ve met while visiting schools and special education programs who feel that their kids are falling through the cracks,” Rible said in the release. “We can’t walk away from these families and this task force will examine everything to make special education more efficient and effective in a meaningful reform of our system that will benefit our special needs children.”