An ACT related to education and the instruction of students with disabilities.

  • Posted on: 14 March 2020
  • By: Kiran McMillan-...
Legislature: 
Primary Chamber: 
Title: 
An ACT related to education and the instruction of students with disabilities.
Enactment Clause: 
Be it enacted by the Youth Model Legislature of the State of New Jersey that teachers are required to take a minimum number of classes about teaching students with disabilities in order to teach in public schools in the state of New Jersey.
Sections: 
Section I: Defines “Special education” as educational services designed to help students with disabilities receive a quality education. “Disability” as a condition that would prevent students from receiving a quality education without accomodation. “Quality education” as an education that meets the curriculum standards and teaches students life skills and the minimum standards of a K-12 education as defined by the New Jersey State Legislature “Accommodations” as methods of assistance or objects that help students with disabilities understand and retain the curriculum Such as allowing a blind student to use audio books rather than read paper books Section II: Teachers who wish to teach in public schools in New Jersey must take twelve or more credits of classes related to special education and teaching students with disabilities. At least one of these classes must consist of methods for teaching students with disabilities. At least one of these classes must consist of planning accommodations for students with disabilities. If these teachers do not take twelve or more credits, they will be prohibited from teaching in public schools in New Jersey.
Effective Date: 
August 1, 2021
Statement of Intent: 
The purpose of this bill is to improve the education of students with disabilities, in order to make education more equal for all students. Many general education teachers are not prepared and have not received training to teach students with disabilities. This bill will allow teachers to recognize that their students may have a disability more easily, causing them to get the necessary interventions and accommodations earlier and improving their outcomes and overall quality of life. In fact, many more people have disabilities than have been diagnosed with them; with around 13% of birth to 3 year olds in the United States having delays that would make them eligible for an early intervention. When a disability is discovered earlier and an early intervention happens, the intervention will likely be more effective than it would have been if given later. This is due to the fact that the connections/neural circuits in a person’s brain are most adaptable and changeable in the first few years of life, becoming harder to change as the person becomes older. As this bill helps students get the necessary accommodations earlier, it will hopefully improve their education and thus the rest of their life. In addition, many students who have disabilities may not have their disabilities be detected, causing them to receive a lesser education that could have been better if they had simply had the necessary accommodations. To reiterate, the fact that this bill will help students receive the necessary accommodations earlier, and will help teachers know how to teach students with disabilities, will improve the education of many students, thus improving their quality of life.
Author's Note: 
This bill will not need much funding, aside from payments of the NJ Department of Education to colleges in order to pay for these classes.
Lobbyist Consideration: 
No
Fund Summary: 
The funds necessary for this bill will be provided by the NJ Department of Education, and the funds will be used to pay for the classes in special education that these teachers take.
Speedpass Consideration: 
No
Thinktank Consideration: 
No