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9 N.J.A.R. 179

Bernards Township Board of Education: B., M. Through His Parents, R.B. and J.B.v.
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Citation: 9 N.J.A.R. 179
Decision Date: 1985
Agency: DIVISION OF SPECIAL EDUCATION
Synopsis: Petitioner sought to have the unilateral placement of their son in a private, residential, out-of-state school authorized retroactively and thus require the local school board to pay residential costs and tuition. The administrative law judge assigned to the case found that petitioner's 13-year-old son, had been previously classified as emo- tionally disturbed and was now classified as neurologically impaired. After an evaluation by the local district's child study team, the child had been placed in an approved private day school for the handi- capped but his parents, acting on their own initiative, sent the child to an out-of-state private school, based upon their feelings that that was where the best education was available. Following this placement, a new child study team again recommended a day placement close to home; a recommendation with which the parents refused to comply. The administrative law judge noted that pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:46-14, the Commissioner of Education's approval is required for the provision of educational services outside the state when, in the opinion of the local board, such services cannot be provided within the state. When parents independently choose to enroll their child in a residential school, they must absorb the costs. The local board need not provide the 'best' education but must provide a free appropriate education, with personalized instruction and sufficient support services to allow the child to benefit educa- tionally. The judge concluded that the record was clear that the local board had attempted to provide such an education and was ready to M.B.v. Tp. Bd. of Educ. continue to provide it. Accordingly, petitioner's request for residential placement at an out-of-state facility was denied. Howard Schwartz, Esq., for petitioner Steven B. Hoskins, Esq., for respondent (McCarter and English, at- torneys)
Citation Tracker rejected-Dept. of Health; affirmed -App. Div., A-213-85, 4/20/87 (unreported) [Updated through 1991]