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Special-Education Task Force to Launch Statewide ‘Listening Tour’ Next Week

Administration looks to public for best ways to serve New Jersey’s students with disabilities

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The state’s special education task force will hold hearings at a variety of locations this month to solicit input for improving how the state and local districts provide services for New Jersey’s 200,000 students with disabilities.

The hearings will be held in mid- and late October in the following locations:

  • October 16, 6-8 p.m., Learning Resource Center-South, 107 Gilbreth Parkway, Mullica Hill

  • October 23, 5-7 p.m., Learning Resource Center-North, 7 Glenwood Avenue, East Orange

  • October 27, 6-8 p.m., Learning Resource Center-South, N.A. Bleshman Regional Day School, 333 E. Ridgewood Ave., Paramus

  • October 29, 6-8 p.m., Learning Resource Center-Central, 200 Riverview Plaza, Trenton

Created in 2013 but not appointed by Gov. Chris Christie until this summer, the task force is charged with providing a series of recommendations for addressing a host of issues surrounding special education in New Jersey, from its costs to the programs themselves.

Under Christie’s executive order, the task force is to issue the first of its recommendations by the end of the year.

Those testifying at the public hearings are asked to focus on four key areas, according to a memo sent to districts yesterday. They include the identification of students with special needs, best practices for serving those students, the costs and alternatives to private school services, and the development of standards and oversight of programs.

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