New Jersey Superintendents Blast State Guidance For Reopening Schools to Serve Students with Disabilities

Ten days ago the New Jersey Department of Education issued “guidance” allowing districts to reopen July 6th for in-person summer programming for students with disabilities and claiming that the rules were issued after consulting with all stakeholders.

Apparently they didn’t talk to parents. 

Or superintendents. 

Or teachers. 

To wit: Two days after the “guidance” was issued (actually, the DOE just took the rules for summer camp and slapped a new title on top), a coalition of schools that serves special needs children said “no way,” blasting the state’s guidance as “insufficient.” Howard Lerner, superintendent of the Bergen County Special Services School District and chairman of the New Jersey Joint Council of County Special Services School Districts, said, “children with the most intensive disabilities cannot serve as the test case for whether New Jersey schools can reopen safely.” Scott Feder, superintendent of the South Brunswick School District, told Politico that the guidance was “insulting to the kids, to their families and the staff.” Neal Dickstein, superintendent of Freehold Township School District,  tweeted, “When are you going to collaborate with superintendents in the field? When are you going to have the professional courtesy to inform us in advance instead of us learning of the changes through Twitter? How do you think districts can prepare with this guidance coming so late?”

As one parent of a kid with special needs told NJ Left Behind, “my son is not their guinea pig.”

For additional coverage see the Press of Atlantic City and Advance Media,

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