Last month a federal court ruled that New Jersey's public school system unlawfully segregates children with disabilities in isolated schools and classrooms. This is old news.
Federal law (I.D.E.A.) mandates that children with disabilities have access to a "free public education" in "the least restrictive environment." Mountains of case law, not to mention federal and state regulations, require local districts to work hard to integrate special needs kids into regular classrooms instead of self-contained classrooms, where children are segregated from typical peers, and out-of-district placements in private and public special education schools.
However, according to court documents, N.J. continues to disproportionately keep our special needs students out of the regular classroom, a habit so ingrained into our educational psyche that the only hope for a cure is an intervention.
According to the Settlement Agreement in "Disability Rights N.J. v. N.J. Department of Education," N.J. must now implement a new monitoring system for our worst offenders, 75 school districts with the highest rates of segregation.Read the rest here.
Labels: special education