ASSEMBLY PANEL APPROVES HANDLIN BILL EXPANDING OPPORTUNITIES FOR SPECIAL-NEEDS STUDENTS

The Assembly Education Committee approved today bipartisan legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Amy H. Handlin that would allow special-needs students to be placed in sectarian or religious-oriented schools. “Children who need special programs not available in their public school should not be limited in their options for out-of-district placements,” Handlin, R-Monmouth, said. “Expanding the educational opportunities for special-needs children will allow children to be placed in the right setting to help them succeed.” New Jersey school districts are required to provide suitable programs for special-needs students, whether or not they’re available in the district. The legislation, A-2869, would give equal treatment to sectarian or religiously-oriented schools that exists for other nonpublic school programs. “Some children do better when placed in surroundings they’re more comfortable with,” Handlin said. “This is a reasonable approach that may make a real difference in a child’s ability to learn and excel.” ####

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