Advocacy Alert: NJDOE Special Education Regulations Proposed

The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) regulates private special education schools like the one your son or daughter attends. These regulations affect everything from services and staff, to facility and finance.

The NJDOE has recently proposed more than 80 pages of new accounting rules that will devastate private schools, and make it very hard for them to operate. Some schools may be forced to close.

The rules affect areas such as pension, healthcare, travel, hiring and staff training, tuition-setting, debt, and audits, to name a few. These rules will DIRECTLY affect services to children.

ASAH has opposed these rules and has asked leaders in Trenton to delay action, but WE ARE NOT ALONE. Look at all the organizations that are asking the State Board to delay:

  • ASAH
  • Advocates for Children of NJ (ACNJ)
  • Autism New Jersey
  • The Alliance for the Betterment of Citizens with Disabilities
  • The Arc of New Jersey
  • NJ Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies
  • New Jersey Coalition for Special Education Funding Reform
  • The United Way of Central Jersey


These proposed rules would have a devastating effect on approved private schools’ ability to continue serving their students.


On January 12, NJTV aired the following segment on concerns over the proposed code changes.

NJ Spotlight logo
Public Hearings on Charters and Private Schools
NJ Spotlight, John Mooney, January 4, 2017.

NJ Spotlight logo
Special Education Schools Alarmed at DOE Proposals
NJ Spotlight: re NJTV coverage, John Mooney, January 4, 2017.

Brick ShoreBeat logo
A Call to Action
Brick Shorebeat, Kimberlee Rutan McCafferty, January 17, 2017


More than 30 families and their children with severe disabilities squeezed into the public meeting of the New Jersey State Board of Education on Wednesday, February 1. Joined by nearly 80 other special education advocates and leaders from state organizations, they jammed the lobby of the New Jersey Department of Education in opposition to new state rules that would put special education services for the state’s most vulnerable students at risk.

Parents and families at the NJ State Board of Education meeting February 1, 2017


We are now sending letters to the Governor’s Office regarding the proposed code.

  • CLICK HERE to download a Parent Letter Template for the Governor in MSWord. Please be sure to copy your letter to the State Board of Education and the NJ Department of Education, so it will be entered into the State Board’s official record.
Send your letters to:

The Honorable Chris Christie
Office of the Governor
PO Box 001
Trenton, NJ 08625

With copy to:

Mr. Mark W. Biedron
New Jersey State Board of Education
State Board Office
P.O. Box 500
Trenton, NJ 08625-0500


Ms. Kimberley Harrington
Acting Commissioner
New Jersey Department of Education
P.O. Box 500
Trenton, NJ 08625-0500

You can also sign this parent-initiated petition at to stop the proposed code revisions.



  • Private schools serve more than 11,000 children ages 3-21 who have complex and severe disabilities including autism, aspergers, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, learning disabilities, bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety, medical and chromosomal conditions, and more.
  • Federal and state laws require that all students with disabilities receive an appropriate special education at no cost to parents.
  • Public school districts place students with disabilities in private schools when the in-district programs cannot meet a child’s needs.
  • Public schools pay tuition; rates are set annually by the NJDOE.
  • Private schools are heavily regulated by the NJDOE.
  • Many private schools in New Jersey are tax-exempt charitable organizations established for the benefit of the students they serve; others are family-owned and operated businesses.

Questions? Need more information?
Call ASAH 609-890-1400

If private schools are forced to close, the state’s most vulnerable and educationally complex students will have no appropriate options. Where will they go?