- A New Jersey School Boards Association report, "Special Education: A Service, Not a Place," suggests how officials in the state can both cut costs and improve quality in programs for students with special needs.
- The report's 20 recommendations include increasing promotion of early intervention programs, implementing a voluntary shared service model, changing state law to protect school boards in legal disputes, and giving districts more flexibility in how they use funds for those programs.
- According to NJSBA Executive Director Lawrence Feinsod, finding a solution for rising special ed costs, which often lead to reductions in other education programs, would reduce tensions between general and special education programs.
This issue isn't likely to be one that only affects schools in New Jersey, so the report likely offers takeaways for officials in other states, as well. The year-long study behind the report included consultations with over two dozen experts and advocates in special education, as well as surveys on alternative funding structures nationwide and staffing and local costs within the state.