The Office of Special Education, a unit within the New Jersey Department of Education, has a procedure for parents (and their attorneys) to follow when a local school district does not abide by consent judgments and orders that arise out of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) litigation. That procedure is set forth on the 39th page of the Parental Rights in Special Education manual (or 43rd page of the PDF).
In order to see how often parents need to avail themselves of this procedure, I made an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request for “all ‘Parental Requests for Enforcement of a Final Decision issued by the Office of Administrative Law’ filed with the Office of Special Education so far in 2015.” In response, I received documents from the following nineteen cases. The Office of Special Education denied access to seven additional cases in their entirety claiming an exemption under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”) 20 U.S.C. Sect 1232g.
- South River (Middlesex County) Notes: $54,000 paid by school district’s insurer to parents’ attorney.
- Hasbrouck Heights (Bergen County)
- Garfield (Bergen County)
- Team Academy Charter School (Essex County)
- Ocean City (Cape May County)
- Newark (Essex County) (Two cases)
- Ewing (Mercer County)
- Lakewood (Ocean County) Notes: Approximately $150,000 paid by school district.
- Denville (Morris County) Notes: Approximately $260,000 paid out for special ed services.
- Red Bank (Monmouth County)
- Mount Olive (Morris County)
- Great Meadows (Warren County) (Three cases)
- Sussex County Vo-Tech
- Cherry Hill (Camden County)
- Old Bridge (Middlesex County) Notes: Residential placement of student in Spanish Fork, Utah.
- Holmdel (Monmouth County)