Christie Signs Legislation Creating New Position of Special-Ed Omsbudsman

Office will help resolve disputes, respond to questions and concerns raised by families of children with disabilities

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New Jersey will soon have a special-education ombudsman within the state Department of Education, an office intended to field questions and address concerns raised by families of children with disabilities.

Legislation creating the new position was signed into law this week by Gov. Chris Christie.

The bill specifies that the ombudsman will provide information and support to families, while also acting “neutrally and objectively” in helping to resolve disputes before they enter the legal process.

“For many parents, navigating our state’s complex special education system can be an overwhelming and burdensome process,” said Sen. Diane Allen (R-Burlington), a primary sponsor of the law.

“Having this office at the state level will be a tremendous asset for parents who are struggling to clear roadblocks and understand the rights and services their children are entitled to receive.”

NJ Spotlight would like to know what role our readers hope the new special-education ombudsman will play. We invite you to either post comments at the end of this story or email us at We will post a story about your responses in the coming weeks.

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