NEW JERSEY – Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Steven Oroho and Senator Robert Singer that would create a dedicated group of administrative law judges to oversee special education cases was signed into law Tuesday by Governor Murphy.
“I am proud that the Governor signed this bill into law today. The unique challenges of educating students with special needs lead to disagreements between concerned parents and school districts that often end up in court,” Oroho (R-24) said. “Long delays only add to the frustration and can interfere with the development and learning opportunities of children. The unit established within the Office of Administrative Law by this legislation would increase efficiency and help all parties by reaching more timely decisions and resolutions.”
The bill, S-2160, would establish a unit within the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) dedicated to special education cases. This unit would consist of administrative law judges that have expertise in special education law.
Under the bill, all contested cases concerning special education law referred to the OAL would be assigned to and adjudicated by the administrative law judges in the special education unit.
“There is no question New Jersey needs to do a better job addressing special education conflicts,” Singer (R-30) said. “It is unacceptable for people to have to wait so long to get answers impacting the education of a child with special needs. With regular review of the data demonstrating the effectiveness of this strategy, we will know if there are enough judges assigned to the unit and how we can continue to improve the process.”