New Jersey's 7th Legislative District

Senator Diane Allen

Senator Diane Allen

Allen Bill Creating Special Education Ombudsman Passed by Senate

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The Senate voted to adopt bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen establishing the Office of the Special Education Ombudsman within the state Department of Education in an effort to help parents navigate the state’s special education system.

Sen. Diane Allen’s legislation establishes the Office of the Special Education Ombudsman within the N.J. Dept. of Education to help parents navigate the state’s special education system. (Flickr)

“It can be very difficult for parents to navigate the state’s special education system and to understand what rights and services their children are entitled to,” said Allen (R-Burlington). “Many parents are unsure of where to turn when there is an issue or question with their child’s services. Parents will now have a clear go-to resource when they hit a roadblock at the district office or have a question about their child’s special education services.”

Under the bill, S451, the Commissioner of Education will appoint a Special Education Ombudsman. The ombudsman will be required to make an annual report to the State Board of Education and the Commissioner of Education that includes a summary of the services the ombudsman provided during the year and recommendations concerning the state’s implementation of special education procedures and services.

“Establishing this defined position within the department will be a valuable resource and support system for parents and educators alike,” Allen added.

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