Bill to Extend Special Education Services Advances
June 06, 2021
UPDATE: S3434 is still awaiting the Governor’s signature.
What can parents do now?
Until the law is signed, we join our advocacy partners in advising parents to contact their child study team immediately to ask for an urgent meeting to discuss the pending legislation and their options for next year. Be sure to clearly state that you do not wish for your child to graduate or accept a diploma.
Those wishing to reach out to the Governor to encourage him to sign the bill can do so via this form:
When completing the online form, use the Topic: “Education” and Sub-Topic “Special Education.” Sharing your story about why this legislation matters to you can make a difference.
A bill that would provide an additional year of special education services for students graduating in 2021, 2022, and 2023 is advancing through the New Jersey Legislature. On Thursday May 20th, the General Assembly voted to pass S3434/A5366 by a vote of 72-0 and it now awaits a concurrence vote by the Senate, the final step before the bill would reach the Governor’s desk. The next currently scheduled full session of the Senate is June 3rd.
Special education students throughout the state have experienced significant learning loss due to pandemic-related school closings and this bill would allow those students an additional year to access the critical services that were not available to them over the last year. The bill’s sponsors Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3), Senator Dawn Addiego (D-8), Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-37), Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt (D-6), and Assemblyman John McKeon (D-27) have acted swiftly since the bill’s introduction in February to move it through the Legislature.
Autism New Jersey has supported the bill throughout the legislative process and the bill has received the support of numerous advocacy groups and parents from around the state along with receiving significant press coverage.
We will continue to monitor the bill’s progress and advocate for its passage by the Senate and Governor.
For those with concerns about the impact of the timing of the vote for students graduating this June, please connect with our Public Policy Director, Eric Eberman, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally Posted: 05/21/2021