|NJ State Board of Education President Arcelio Aponte and board member Andrew Mulvihill hear testimony on the proposed regulations at the March 6 meeting.
At the State Board of Education meeting on April 3, the proposed special education regulations continued to move through the administrative adoption code process.
Although over 50 people testified in opposition to the proposed regulations in March and hundreds of letters were written by NJEA and other special education stakeholder groups expressing dismay, dozens of NJEA members in attendance—including all NJEA officers—witnessed the State BOE unanimously vote to move the regulations with only one minor amendment, which still seeks to place case management responsibilities in the hands of classroom teachers and other certified staff members.
The original proposed code regarding case managers allowed for teachers and any other licensed staff member with appropriate knowledge about special education to serve as a case manager in addition to the Child Study Team (CST) members and Speech Language Specialists already charged with the responsibility.
The code was narrowed so that it now proposes to allow—in addition to CST members—special education teachers and guidance counselors to serve as case managers.
While this may at first appear to be an improvement over the previous regulations proposal, NJEA continues to have grave concerns on the impact this will have on students, parents, and members.
This amendment affects more than just special education teachers and guidance counselors; the proposed changes in special education regulations will have an impact on the way all staff members do their job.
NJEA and other special education stakeholder groups will continue to work with the Department of Education and the State Board of Education to seek changes to these regulations. We have also reached out to state legislators and will continue our efforts to effect appropriate changes through legislation.
We need members to join this fight! Please continue to write to State Board members and—to convey the impact that it will have on their constituents and their schools—it’s time to call and write legislators. Explain why these changes to the special education code are harmful to our students and wrong for our profession. Talking points
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