TRENTON – Two advocates made some recommendations today on how to improve special education.
Robert Titus, of Autism New Jersey, called for increasing access to programs such as behavior analysis and evidence-based teaching.
His other recommendations made before the Senate Education Committee included:
*Making charter, private and public school programs available;
*Teaching more functional skills;
*Having greater respect for cultural differences;
*Giving tools to families that would empower them to navigate disputes.
Brenda Considine of the Coalition for Special Education Funding Reform said there isn’t any meaningful data on the outcome of kids who go through special education.
“We really need a longitudinal study,” she said. “In the long term, it will help us guide decisions.
In the short term, Considine called for a moratorium on any new segregated public school programs, and making a greater effort to have kids in special education remain in their local school districts.
“It has drained resources,” she said about the practice of sending them out.
She also called for more shared services, especially in the areas of transportation and technology.