Welcome!

News Feed Item

Advocates And State Of New Jersey Settle Federal Lawsuit To Ensure Students With Disabilities Receive An Appropriate Education

NEWARK, N.J., Feb. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly seven years after the lawsuit was filed, and more than five years since the District Court denied the State's motion to dismiss, disability advocates entered into an historic settlement with the New Jersey Department of Education to ensure that New Jersey students with disabilities receive an appropriate education in the "least restrictive environment." 

"Countless children with disabilities who were inappropriately segregated and denied their right to an inclusive education will now be educated alongside their peers who do not have disabilities, to the maximum extent appropriate," said attorney David L. Harris of Lowenstein Sandler, which handled the case on a pro bono basis.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit included Disability Rights New Jersey (DRNJ), the Education Law Center (ELC), the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN) and the ARC of New Jersey.  Representation was provided by attorneys from DRNJ, ELC and the law firms of Freeman, Carolla, Reisman & Gran, and Todd Wilson, LLC, along with Lowenstein Sandler.

The lawsuit cited New Jersey's failure to implement the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which requires the provision of a "free and appropriate public education" in the "least restrictive environment" to all eligible students. The plaintiffs alleged that children were inappropriately and unnecessarily sent out of district and denied in-class aids, services and accommodations needed to receive an appropriate education in the general education classroom.

Joseph Young, Executive Director of DRNJ, commended the settlement, noting that "the benefits of inclusion are vast and include improved language development and reading skills, higher grades, higher scores on standardized tests, larger friendship networks, improved attendance and higher self-esteem." 

"Non-disabled children also benefit from inclusion: they perform substantially better in reading and mathematics than their counterparts educated in segregated environments, and they demonstrate social and developmental benefits, including improved understanding and relationships with children with disabilities," said Diana Autin, Executive Co-Director of SPAN.  The "win-win" of improved education for all students was also touted by Thomas Baffuto, Executive Director of the ARC, while Judith Gran, Esq., extolled the role of advocates in the Settlement, and Todd Wilson, Esq., pointed approvingly at the provision in the Settlement mandating training of Department of Education staff by a highly qualified independent party.

The Settlement includes:

  • a Needs Assessment to be completed by the 75+ school districts with the worst track record in inclusion;
  • district site visits by the Department of Education, including classroom observations and staff interviews;
  • extensive training and technical assistance for district staff, and regular assessment of the trainings and technical assistance;
  • training of state complaint investigators;
  • specially designated state and local inclusion facilitators;
  • annual compliance monitoring;
  • parental input regarding district failures to appropriately include students with disabilities; and
  • oversight by a stakeholder committee comprised of disability advocates.          

"The advocates are hopeful that this carefully crafted Settlement will result in a vast improvement in New Jersey's placement of children in the least restrictive environment – an area where New Jersey, for decades, has trailed the rest of the nation," said Ruth Lowenkron, Senior Attorney at the Education Law Center.  "Inclusion is not only the law, it's what's best for children and it's also more cost-effective in the long-run, and often even in the short-run," Lowenkron added.

The Settlement became effective upon the judge's February 19, 2014 signing of the Order, and implementation will be immediate.

SOURCE Lowenstein Sandler LLP

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
The “Digital Era” is forcing us to engage with new methods to build, operate and maintain applications. This transformation also implies an evolution to more and more intelligent applications to better engage with the customers, while creating significant market differentiators. In both cases, the cloud has become a key enabler to embrace this digital revolution. So, moving to the cloud is no longer the question; the new questions are HOW and WHEN. To make this equation even more complex, most ...
Why Federal cloud? What is in Federal Clouds and integrations? This session will identify the process and the FedRAMP initiative. But is it sufficient? What is the remedy for keeping abreast of cutting-edge technology? In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rasananda Behera will examine the proposed solutions: Private or public or hybrid cloud Responsible governing bodies How can we accomplish?
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusic will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Fusic Co. provides mocks as virtual IoT devices. You can customize mocks, and get any amount of data at any time in your test. For more information, visit https://fusic.co.jp/english/.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Greg Gorman is the Director, IoT Developer Ecosystem, Watson IoT, will provide a short tutorial on Node-RED, a Node.js-based programming tool for wiring together hardware devices, APIs and online services in new and interesting ways. It provides a browser-based editor that makes it easy to wire together flows using a wide range of nodes in the palette that can be deployed to its runtime in a single-click. There is a large library of contributed nodes that help so...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enroute Lab will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enroute Lab is an industrial design, research and development company of unmanned robotic vehicle system. For more information, please visit http://elab.co.jp/.
With the rise of DevOps, containers are at the brink of becoming a pervasive technology in Enterprise IT to accelerate application delivery for the business. When it comes to adopting containers in the enterprise, security is the highest adoption barrier. Is your organization ready to address the security risks with containers for your DevOps environment? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Chris Van Tuin, Chief Technologist, NA West at Red Hat, will discuss: The top security r...
SYS-CON Events announced today that B2Cloud will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. B2Cloud specializes in IoT devices for preventive and predictive maintenance in any kind of equipment retrieving data like Energy consumption, working time, temperature, humidity, pressure, etc.
SYS-CON Events announced today that N3N will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. N3N’s solutions increase the effectiveness of operations and control centers, increase the value of IoT investments, and facilitate real-time operational decision making. N3N enables operations teams with a four dimensional digital “big board” that consolidates real-time live video feeds alongside IoT sensor data a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that NetApp has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. NetApp is the data authority for hybrid cloud. NetApp provides a full range of hybrid cloud data services that simplify management of applications and data across cloud and on-premises environments to accelerate digital transformation. Together with their partners, NetApp em...
Agile has finally jumped the technology shark, expanding outside the software world. Enterprises are now increasingly adopting Agile practices across their organizations in order to successfully navigate the disruptive waters that threaten to drown them. In our quest for establishing change as a core competency in our organizations, this business-centric notion of Agile is an essential component of Agile Digital Transformation. In the years since the publication of the Agile Manifesto, the conn...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SIGMA Corporation will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. uLaser flow inspection device from the Japanese top share to Global Standard! Then, make the best use of data to flip to next page. For more information, visit http://www.sigma-k.co.jp/en/.
Real IoT production deployments running at scale are collecting sensor data from hundreds / thousands / millions of devices. The goal is to take business-critical actions on the real-time data and find insights from stored datasets. In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Walicki, Watson IoT Developer Advocate at IBM Cloud, will provide a fast-paced developer journey that follows the IoT sensor data from generation, to edge gateway, to edge analytics, to encryption, to the IBM Bluemix cloud, to Wa...
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain.
There is huge complexity in implementing a successful digital business that requires efficient on-premise and cloud back-end infrastructure, IT and Internet of Things (IoT) data, analytics, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Digital Applications. In the data center alone, there are physical and virtual infrastructures, multiple operating systems, multiple applications and new and emerging business and technological paradigms such as cloud computing and XaaS. And then there are pe...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Keisoku Research Consultant Co. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Keisoku Research Consultant, Co. offers research and consulting in a wide range of civil engineering-related fields from information construction to preservation of cultural properties. For more information, vi...