Saturday, July 26, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Special-Ed Code Avoids Hot Buttons, Defines Dyslexia as Reading Disorder

What a difference a year makes. The Christie administration this week introduced new code for special-education services that skipped over most of the hot-button topics on how to serve students with disabilities.

Special-Ed Code Avoids Hot Buttons, Defines Dyslexia as Reading Disorder

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What a difference a year makes. The Christie administration this week introduced new code for special-education services that skipped over most of the hot-button topics on how to serve students with disabilities.

The new administrative code submitted to the State Board of Education on Wednesday contained changes that were mostly technical in nature, officials said.

The one exception was a new requirement enacted by the state Legislature and signed by Gov. Chris Christie that raised the profile of dyslexia as a reading disorder, although further guidelines remain pending.

Otherwise, the code almost entirely avoided the host of issues that touched off a mini-firestorm of protest from advocates and others a year ago, prompting the administration to pull the proposal.

Among the concerns was the fact that there were different requirements for districts and families, all feeding into the power struggle that can define how schools and parents interact over special education services. For instance, one of the most contentious proposals was over who would serve as case workers for students. That may appear to be a technical detail to some, but actually is a critical decision for families and school districts.

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