December Meeting Update and Documentation – updated

Update 12/16/14  Meeting Notes can be found 12.3.14 General Meeting Notes Final

The December 3, 2014 joint meeting of the SEPAC and Special Education PTO covered several important topics: a budget analysis for special education; contacting legislators regarding state funding of special education; state testing that will be conducted in a new format this year.

Budget Analysis:
Find the Budget Analysis presentation in pdf form 2014-12 soma budget analysis – Final
We encourage you to become familiar with the budget/budget process and be aware of the timeline of this work as the Board of Education adheres to a strict deadlines to meet state requirements when “making” the budget.

Contact Legislators:
Part of special education is funded, and in cases, underfunded, by the state government.  The SEPAC Executive Committee recently sent the attached letter to our Assemblywoman Mila Jasey and similar letters were also sent to additional legislators.   A template letter is attached as well as contact information that can be used to advocate for more appropriate funding decisions  2014-12-03 SEPAC Handout  We encourage you to contact legislators regarding this issue.

State Testing:
Many students with classroom supports (IEPs and 504s) have accomodations for state testing.  As the testing format has changed to a computer based assessment, the accomodations will be changing as well.   The district has provided a FAQ document on the new testing – you can find the information on the district site and B. PARCC FAQ

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Input From Parents Requested: Special Ed. Task Force in NJ

The following information is from the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network regarding public input to the special education process.   There is opportunity to attend in public as well as submit information via email or regular mail by October 31st, 2014.

Find the full text of the SPANNJ notice HERE

Your voice needs to be heard by the NJ Spec. Ed. Task Force at its upcoming regional hearings, 10/16, 23, 27 and 29. This information was sent to school districts.

The topics for input include:

  • The evaluation of practices for classifying and educating students who are eligible for special education programs and services;
  • The development of best practices for education professionals working with special education students;
  • Strategies to reduce the costs associated with the placement of eligible students in out-of-district public schools or private schools, including the development of in-district special education programs and services; and
  • The development of standards and appropriate oversight to ensure that programs and services address the needs of students, focus on student achievement, and assess the effectiveness of programs and services.

Comments and suggestions may also be provided to the task force through October 31 via email at specedtaskforce@doe.state.nj.us or by postal mail at:  New Jersey Special Education Task Force, c/o Office of Special Education Programs, New Jersey Department of Education, PO Box 500, Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0500.