Trenton – The Senate Education Committee today advanced legislation sponsored by Senator Shirley Turner that would establish requirements concerning methods for determining whether a child has a specific learning disability under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
Under the bill, S-2256, the State would be required to allow the use of a process based on the child’s response to scientific, research-based intervention and the use of other alternative procedures when determining whether a child has a learning disability.
“New Jersey’s methods for identifying and evaluating students with learning disabilities have not kept up with either the changes to federal law or the relevant science and best practices,” said Senator Shirley K. Turner (D-Mercer/ Hunterdon). “As a result, our students’ needs are not being met quickly enough or at all. Properly identifying and accommodating students that require additional assistance will ensure greater success for every student.”
The bill would also prohibit the use of a severe discrepancy between intellectual ability and achievement for determining whether a child has a specific learning disability.
The committee advanced the bill by a vote of 5-0.