The New Jersey Supreme Court had appointed a Special Master, Bergen County Superior Court Judge Peter Doyne, to review whether the State of New Jersey is spending sufficient monies on public education, that is, living up to its responsibility under the New Jersey Constitution to provide for a “thorough and efficient” education for New Jersey students. Last week in his report, the Special Master found that the State had underfunded education by up to $1.6 billion dollars over the last two years (NSBA post) http://legalclips.nsba.org/?p=5549%20. Litigation over school funding has been ongoing in New Jersey in one form or another for over thirty-five (35) years. These suits effect each of us, but involve issues much larger than most of us would be able to help resolve.
Some of you may have immediate and pressing, personal questions or problems regarding your child’s education. Gaetano De Sapio is uniquely qualified to help. He served as a member and as President of the Board of Education in Kingwood Township. Subsequently, he acted as the attorney for the Board, handled its labor negotiations and employment issues with teachers, and represented the Child Study Team in regard to its responsibilities. He represented the Glen Gardner Board of Education when it entered into a Sending and Receiving Agreement with Clinton Town; the Raritan Valley Community College in regard to its negotiations with its professors, professional, and support staff; and the Hunterdon County Freeholders in dealing with the County’s responsibilities to fund the Hunterdon County Vocation School (Hunterdon County Polytech).
Guy has represented families like yours seeking to ensure that their children with special needs receive the services to which they are entitled under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), as well as laws which require that students be provided with a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). He has advocated for students and their parents in connection with everyday classroom related issues. Guy understands the education laws (NJDOE post) http://www.state.nj.us/education/parents/special.htm. His philosophy is to approach these matters with sensitivity and attempt to work with the school district to achieve your child’s needs in a non-adversarial manner, if possible. He realizes your youngster will be continuing his/her education in the local school and you will need to deal with teachers and administrators through the years. Therefore, he tries to set a constructive tone while at the same time, protecting your child, and your interests as parents. He is prepared to handle due process proceedings or litigation, if necessary, to achieve your objective.
In future postings, we will provide information about accessing materials that describe your school district’s responsibility to your youngsters. For now, we share information about Parental Rights in Special Education (PRISE) available at (NJDOE forms) http://www.state.nj.us/education/specialed/form/.
We realize that problems are not limited to Special Needs Students and through the years we have helped resolve disputes regarding grades, qualification for participation in sports and other activities, violation of student conduct policies, residency determination, entitlement to busing and transportation, and harassment (bullying). We are here for you.
If you are a School Board Member and your Board is looking for an attorney to assist your district with these and other problems, please contact us.
For more information about this post: contact Gaetano M. De Sapio firstname.lastname@example.org.