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OC/OS Letter On A1281

Elementary Classroom

Access a downloadable version of the OC/OS letter here.

February 25, 2022

Dear Governor Murphy, Senate President Scutari, and Assembly Speaker Coughlin,

 

Students with disabilities are entitled to compensatory education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) when they fail to receive a free and appropriate public education (FAPE).

 

School districts were still required to provide FAPE to students with disabilities when schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 and both the federal and state Departments of Education have recognized that compensatory education services must be provided to remedy FAPE violations that have occurred during the pandemic. However, as many as 230,000 New Jersey students did not receive essential special education and related services for some or all of the time from the closure of schools until schools reopened fully for in-person instruction in September 2021. Currently, parents and caregivers must resolve their pandemic-related compensatory education claims with the school district or file for a due process hearing by March 18, 2022, or risk losing at least some of their special education claim and remedy.


Two bills before the Legislature, S905/A1281, would require school districts to hold an Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting to discuss the compensatory education needs of students and would extend the statute of limitations for the filing of compensatory education claims until September 1, 2023. We extend our gratitude to the Senate for its unanimous approval of S905 on February 14, 2022.

 

We urge the Assembly to join the Senate by passing A1281 and implore the Governor to sign the bill into law before the March 18 deadline. Doing so will allow families and schools to cooperatively resolve claims and ensure that the rights of students with disabilities to compensatory education are protected.

 

For more information, please contact Our Children/Our Schools at info@ourchildrenourschools.org. Thank you for your consideration.

 

Respectfully,


Abbott Leadership Institute
Advocates for Children of New Jersey
ASAH
Creative Scenarios
Disability Rights New Jersey
Education Law Center
Garden State Coalition of Schools
Family Voices NJ

Irvington NAACP
New Destiny Family Success Centers, Inc.
New Jersey PTA
Newark Redefining Access Collaborative
NJ Advocates In Action
NJ Community Schools Coalition
NJCDD
Oasis A Haven for Women and Children
Oranges & Maplewood NAACP
Our Children/Our Schools
Paterson Alliance
Paterson Education Fund
Reisman Carolla Gran & Zuba LLP
Save Our Schools NJ Community Organizing
SPAN Parent Advocacy Network
St. Paul’s Community Development Corporation
Susan Clark Law Group
The Amazing Help
Volunteer Lawyers for Justice
Warshaw Law Firm, LLC
Youth Media Symposium
Aimee Roche
Andrea M. Maio
Anne Kassalow
Barry Bullis
Berenice Lopez
Berkat Bhatti
Carlee Sutera
Catalina Ramirez
Catherine Merino Reisman
Cathy Keenan
Cheryl A. Dispoto, Esq.
Christine Parlamis
Christian Traba
Christopher Tienken
Cindy Fine
Colleen Marrone
Connor Lynch
Dan McSwain
Danielle Menz
David Copperman
Deanna Christian
Deborah Villareal-Hadley
Denise Lanchantin Dwyer
Diane Gayoso
Diana Onuschak

Dr. Jennifer Noble-Slaton

Eilleen Ingram-Willis
Elaine Lane
Elizabeth Athos
Esther Canty-Barnes, Esq.

Gemma Savage
George M. Holland
Gwenn Ciullo
Hannah Argul
Inge Spungen
Jackie Mittman
Jennifer Rosen Valverde
Jessica Levin
Julia Lanuez
Julie Warshaw
Karen Robinson
Katie Collins
Kimberly Garcia
Kyra Nicole Smith, Esq.
Lacia Japp
Laura A. Siclari, Esq.
LaVita E. Johnson
Lenore Boyarin
Liane Bass
Linda Sweet Marks
Lisa K. Eastwood
Lisa M. Quartarolo
Lisa Auslander
Lynette Howard
Mark Lengel
Maryann Christian
Michele Hurley
Michele Silverman
Nadiyah Andrews
Naomi Gulama
Naseed Gifted
Nicole Ciullo
Nicole Monique Nicholas
Nicole Virella
Nino Badridze
Norma Francullo
Radeeah Montague
Rafael Valverde
Raisa Rubin-Stankiewicz
Randi Mandelbaum
Raquel Teixeira

Rebecca Kreck
Rebecca Raftery
Rebecca Spar
Regina Ann Smith
Robert Acerra
Rosemary Horner
Rosie Grant
Ruby Kish
Ruth Lowenkron
Sarah Zuba
Sharon Krengel
Sharon Roseboro
Sheri Goldberg
Sister Maureen Sullivan
Stan Karp
Stella Lyubarsky
Susan Kraham
William Figdor
Yadilsa Diaz
Yasmin Begum
Yudelka Joaquin

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