Approved and Proposed Legislation – March 2012
Earlier this week, I had the honor of giving a presentation to a group of parents and special needs advocates in Warren county, New Jersey. At the presentation, I discussed what typically happens after parents file a petition for a Due Process Hearing. I also discussed the types of mistakes that parents should avoid when litigating special education matters. Throughout the presentation, I emphasized the importance of settlements as a means of resolving disputes whenever feasible.
The feedback I received at the conclusion of the presentation was overwhelmingly positive. I appreciated the opportunity to share this information and am glad that everyone in the audience found my presentation worthwhile.
At the end of my presentation, we briefly reviewed a list of recently approved NJ legislation and recently proposed bills that may benefit children with special needs. I want to share this information with those of you who were unable to attend the presentation.
Recently approved legislation you should be aware of…
P.L. 2011, c.156. Allows students with disabilities to bring service animals to school. (January 5, 2012)
P.L. 2011, JR-1, AJR11. Designates the second full week of April as “Asperger’s Syndrome Awareness Week.” (January 26, 2011)
A few interesting bills that have been introduced so far this year…
AJR51/SJR31. Designates October of each year as “Disability History and Awareness Month” and encourages instruction concerning disabilities in the public schools. (February 21, 2012)
S1196. Recognizes American Sign Language as a world language for meeting high school graduation requirements. (January 23, 2012)
A1421. Authorizes eight hours of leave for parents and guardians from work for school-related events of children. Employers may not discriminate against employees who take leave to attend their child’s school events. Supplements NJ and federal FMLA. (January 10, 2012)
S647. Raises age requirement of compulsory school attendance from 16 to 18 years old. (January 10, 2012)
*NOTE: If you support any of these bills, contact your representatives. If you do not know who your state representatives are, you can find out by surfing to the New Jersey Legislature, and then clicking on “Find Your Legislator” on the left side of the website.