Christie Signs a Bill into Law That Will Create Consistency in Special Education Programming


Governor Chris Christie signed a bill into law that is designed to provide stability in Special Education programming. Assembly ill 2739 was sponsored by Daniel Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex), Connie Wagner (D-Bergen-Passaic), and Pamela Lampitt (D- Camden/Burlington). The Senate version, bill number 1949, was sponsored by Robert Gordon (D-Bergen/Passaic) and Theresa Ruiz (D-Essex).

The catalyst for the new law stemmed from complaints from parents that their children with developmental disabilities were subject to continued transfer of schools and locations, leading to abrupt changes in their educational programs. It was also pointed out by parents that students with autism, in particular, did not respond well to sudden changes in routine.

The new law directs the State Board of Education to create rules and regulations that will require that the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) include consistency in location, as well as programming. One of the major concerns was that students with Autism and other developmental disabilities suffer from regression as a result of abrupt changes.

According to the new law:

“The State Board of Education shall promulgate regulations to require school districts to develop a plan to establish stability in special education programming. The plan shall take into account the consistency of the location, curriculum, and staffing in the provision of special education programs and services. The State board regulations shall also require that when developing an individualized education program (IEP) with the parent or guardian of a student who is prone to regression due to frequent changes in location including, but not limited to, students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, the IEP team shall consider, among other factors, the consistency of the location of services and that the parent’s preference of location be given primary consideration against other factors when determining in-district special education placements.”

Many students with developmental disabilities are served in “out-of-district” placements. Such students with severe disabilities are often educated in private special education schools to which they are bused for long distances. In fact, it is not unusual for a student with a severe disability to spend up to three hours per day in round trip traveling to an out-of-district placement and home.

Benson, Wagner and Lampitt, along with the support of Gordon and Ruiz in the Senate, have recognized that the concerns that parents have voiced need to be addressed. The new law will go into effect within 90 days.

 The Guest Column is our readers' opportunity to write about a given issue or topic in an in-depth and educational manner.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Fri, April 27, 2:00 PM

Madison Area YMCA - Kroll Conference Room, Madison

Blood Drive

Giving Back Health & Wellness Other

Sun, May 20, 2:00 PM

Chatham Township Municipal Building, Chatham

A Tour of Chatham Township and Green Village

Arts & Entertainment

Robotics and Turkey Sandwiches

April 24, 2018

April 22, 2018

Below is the thank you letter written to all of the groups involved in a wonderful service project today in support of Bridges Outreach, a Summit based organization that has been aiding local homeless friends for 30 years.

Dear Central Presbyterian Kindergartners, Stanley Family and friends, Fear the Gear, Columbia High School robotics and Washington Avenue School ...

Chatham Education Foundation's Second 'Casino Royale' Grosses Over $100,000

April 24, 2018

Sometimes the sequel is better than the original! Chatham Education Foundation honored grant recipients and celebrated 21 years of providing grant funding to the School District to the Chathams at its second Casino Royale on Friday, April 20.

The sold-out event, held at Fairmount Country Club grossed over $100K for the School District of the Chathams.

With 300 attendees, including Jill ...