Senator LORETTA WEINBERG
District 37 (Bergen)
Senator JENNIFER BECK
District 11 (Monmouth)
Senators Singer, Codey, Gordon, Kyrillos and Sarlo
Eliminates restriction on placement of special education students in sectarian schools.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning the provision of special education programs and amending N.J.S.18A:46-14.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. N.J.S.18A:46-14 is amended to read as follows:
18A:46-14. The facilities and programs of education required under this chapter shall be provided by one or more of the following:
a. A special class or classes in the district, including a class or classes in hospitals, convalescent homes, or other institutions;
b. A special class in the public schools of another district in this State or any other state in the United States;
c. Joint facilities including a class or classes in hospitals, convalescent homes or other institutions to be provided by agreement between one or more school districts;
d. A jointure commission program;
e. A State of New Jersey operated program;
f. Instruction at school supplementary to the other programs in the school, whenever, in the judgment of the board of education with the consent of the commissioner, the handicapped pupil will be best served thereby;
g. Sending children capable of benefiting from a day school instructional program to privately operated day classes, in New Jersey or, with the approval of the commissioner to meet particular circumstances, in any other state in the United States, [the services of which are nonsectarian] whenever in the judgment of the board of education with the consent of the commissioner it is impractical to provide services pursuant to subsection a., b., c., d., e. or f. otherwise;
h. Individual instruction at home or in school whenever in the judgment of the board of education with the consent of the commissioner it is impracticable to provide a suitable special education program for a child pursuant to subsection a., b., c., d., e., f. or g. otherwise.
Whenever a child study team determines that a suitable special education program for a child cannot be provided pursuant to subsection a., b., c., d., e., f., g. or h. of this section, and that the most appropriate placement for that child is in an academic program in an accredited nonpublic school within the State or, to meet particular circumstances, in any other state in the United States, [the services of which are nonsectarian,] and which is not specifically approved for the education of handicapped pupils, that child may be placed in that academic program by the board of education, with the consent of the commissioner, or by order of a court of competent jurisdiction. An academic program which meets the requirements of the child's Individual Education Plan as determined by the child study team and which provides the child with a thorough and efficient education, shall be considered an approved placement for the purposes of chapter 46 of this Title, and the board of education shall be entitled to receive State aid for that child as provided pursuant to P.L.2007, c.260 (C.18A:7F-43 et al.), and all other pertinent statutes.
Whenever any child shall be confined to a hospital, convalescent home, or other institution in New Jersey or in any other state in the United States and is enrolled in an education program approved under this article, or shall be placed in any other State facility as defined in section 3 of P.L.2007, c.260 (C.18A:7F-45), the board of education of the district in which the child resides shall pay the tuition of that child. The board of education may also furnish (a) the facilities or programs provided in this article to any person over the age of 20 who does not hold a diploma of a high school approved in this State or in any other state in the United States, (b) suitable approved facilities and programs for children under the age of five.
(cf: P.L.2007, c.260, s.71)
2. This act shall take effect immediately.
State law at N.J.S.18A:46-13 provides that each board of education is required to provide suitable facilities and programs for students classified as in need of special education programs and services; and that the unavailability of a special class facility in any district does not relieve the board from the responsibility of providing those services. State law at N.J.S.18A:46-14 provides a list of the types of facilities in which a school district may place a special education student. This bill amends that section of law to eliminate the restriction on the placement of special education students in instructional programs in sectarian or religiously-oriented schools.