By John Mooney
Recommendations include return to state aid based on individual students’ needs, not ‘census-based’ method
More than two years after its creation, a state task force looking into special-education funding and services in New Jersey has finally issued its report to the Legislature with more than two dozen recommendations, some sweeping and some technical.
Maybe the most significant recommendation made by the 17-member panel of educators, special-needs advocates and others is that lawmakers significantly rewrite the state’s funding law to better distribute special-education aid to school districts.
The 28-page report says the state’s current method of funding special education – based on a statewide average count of students, a so-called “census-based” method – is ineffective and does little to lower special-needs classification rates in the state, one of the aims of the task force’s study.