As NJSBA’s semi-annual Delegate Assembly approaches (Saturday, May 18 is the meeting date), it’s a good time to recount the Association’s progress on key initiatives during the past six months.
Special Education Task Force: In January, NJSBA formed a task force to review our state’s current process for funding and providing special education services. The study group will recommend changes to state and federal statute and regulation. The goal is to reduce special education costs to local school districts without diminishing the quality of needed services. In addition, the task force will identify best practices.
As I’ve previously stated in this column, I began my career in education as a special education teacher. The education of children with special needs will always be close to my heart. However, there is a dire need to develop strategies that will maintain quality services, without negatively affecting resources for general education programming.
The Task Force is working under the guidance of Dr. Gerald Vernotica, Montclair State University associate professor and former assistant commissioner of education. The group has been involved in data collection and research, has consulted with experts, and is seeking information from New Jersey’s local school districts. Earlier this month, it issued a survey on special education trends to superintendents and special education directors. For more information on the survey, please contact John Burns, NJSBA counsel, at firstname.lastname@example.org.