CODE CHANGES ON HOLD; JUNE 5 TESTIMONY STILL VITAL
The NJ Office of Special Education (NJOSEP) has announced that the NJ State Board of Education (NJBOE) has place a hold on the proposed changes in Code items regarding Special Education. As of today (May 16) there are no specifics: the reason(s), for how long, etc. They do move in mysterious ways.
As part of this (lack of) process, the proposed changes have not been printed in the Register. As some of you may know, that printing is a required part of the process: once printed, there is a 60-day public comment period, after which there would be responses to the comments. (Since this part of the process presumably reflects any earlier comments and the NJBOE's consideration of them, this later 60-day period is less likely to affect the NJBOE's final decision.)
So, at this point, the process is being held up for undetermined reasons for an undetermined length of time. This means, of course, that no Code changes are in effect, i.e., the current Code remains in effect. There is some speculation that the NJBOE would wait for the new Task Force on Special Education, created by the legislature, to present its report (180 days from the date this Task Force begins operations, which hasn't happened yet). That would seem to have some merit, but for now it's only speculation.
But of course the NJBOE's regular monthly meeting on the first Wed of the month (June 5) will still take place. And NJEA is also planning a Lobbying Day. Many individuals and organizations, including NJASP, will be participating, either to lobby or provide testimony. Efforts should be kept up, even though the proposed changes are on hold. Apparently these efforts have had some effect.
It should also be noted that the proposed Assembly bill to require that Case Managers be CST staff has been pulled. Again, the reason isn't clear. Perhaps the sponsors feel there may not be a need for it, if that proposed change is pulled (?).
NJASP's Govt and PUblic Rations (GPR) committee, with Barry Barbarasch as chair, met last night (May 15) to review these developments and to make plans for active involvement and followup. Stay tuned.
Sol B. Heckelman