SOMMERVILLE, NJ – Senator Kip Bateman said the NJDOE has failed to deliver the specific, detailed, and timely guidance that school districts needed to properly plan summer educational programs. This comes in the wake of reports that Governor Phil Murphy’s administration sent nearly identical guidance to summer camps and special education summer programs amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Murphy Administration Issued Generic, Almost Identical Guidance to Summer Camps & Special Education Programs
“The months-long closures of schools have upended the education of special needs students, so it’s crucial that they can get back to their classrooms safely this summer with specialized guidance from the State that is tailored to their needs,” said Bateman (R-16). “Instead, the NJDOE copied generic guidance for summer camp programs. This lazy approach is confusing to educators, concerning to parents, and may put vulnerable students’ health at risk.”
Superintendents throughout New Jersey have criticized the guidance distributed by the Department of Education for summer programs, which includes special education instruction.
In a published report, South Brunswick School District Superintendent Scott Feder stated, “It wasn’t even a copy and paste. It was just ‘use summer camp guidance.’”
“Not only were the guidelines issued by the NJDOE completely lacking in the detail that districts need to plan effectively, they came so late that many schools have warned that they may not be able to host any educational programs at all,” added Bateman. “The insensitivity of the administration to the needs of special education students is absolutely insulting.”