07 Jan: Sweeney Measure To Return Burden Of Proof To Schools In Special Education Cases Clears Senate

TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senator Steve Sweeney which would return the burden of proof in special education cases to school districts was unanimously approved today by the full Senate.

“It only makes sense to require school districts to bear the burden of proof in these disputes because they have access to detailed educational records and resources that outline the needs for special education curricula, as well as knowledge of federal and state laws regarding special education,” said Senator Sweeney, D-Gloucester, Cumberland and Salem. “This is not a new issue here in New Jersey. Over the years, the Supreme Court has heard a number of similar cases and most recently, it has deemed that most parents have neither the financial means, nor the detailed knowledge of special education issues.”

29 Nov: Sweeney: Burden Should Be On Schools To Prove Special Education Plans Are Adequate

TRENTON – The Senate Education Committee approved legislation today sponsored by Senator Steve Sweeney that would clarify New Jersey law to put the burden of proof on school districts when disputes arise with parents in the delivery of special education services to children.

“The school district has a distinct advantage over parents in these cases when it comes to expertise and financial resources,” said Senator Sweeney, D-Gloucester, Cumberland and Salem. “It should be incumbent upon the district to prove the adequacy of a special needs IEP (individual education plan) when a parent claims that their child is not getting the level of support they need.”