Special Education Schools Alarmed at DOE Proposals

NJTV News | January 13, 2017 | Education
Department of Education said ‘significant overspending’ means changes need to be made, but schools worry about consequences for their survival

Special education schools in New Jersey say they are worried about their very existence, following a number of rule changes proposed by the state Department of Education.

The DOE, which contends it is “absolutely not the intent” of its proposals to drive 159 special education schools out of business, said it wants them to become “more streamlined” after audits found significant overspending.

Among the DOE’s proposed rule changes are a freeze and cap on staff salaries at private special needs schools, a lowering of the salary cap for therapists, and the return of revenue from sales of schools to the public district.

The association representing the schools has told the state Board of Education that its members are “already losing experienced therapists to agencies serving public schools, where they almost double their salaries, as a result of these discriminatory maximums.”

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