Dear Senator Pennacchio,
I am your constituent living in Montville, NJ.
My developmentally disabled daughter, Rose, is only 17 years-old and therefore unable to vote, but she too is your constituent. It is the highest calling of your responsibility as an elected official to take care of our society’s most vulnerable, and this includes developmentally children.
Sadly, while Montville Township can rightfully boast of the quality of the education provided by its school system – it cannot provide for the extraordinary needs of my daughter. I look to the positive and recognize what a great leap it is for our society, and humanity as a whole, that we now see the potential waiting to be unlocked in children like my beloved daughter. Our efforts to educate them elevate all of us as a society.
I’m grateful to live in a community like Montville where education is so highly valued. Montville Township pays for my daughter to attend an exemplary school for children with neuro-cognitive disorders, Celebrate the Children in nearby Denville, NJ.
At this time I must reach out to ask you to help my daughter, and all the vulnerable children in her private special education school. The children, and we their families, are alarmed that the new fiscal codes implemented for private special education schools will effectively force them to close their doors forever. These codes, (N.J.A.C. 6A:23A-18) will negatively affect the quality of the services my child must have in order to learn and become a productive citizen in the longterm. As a community we can’t lose sight of this imperative longterm goal of education.
Further, these code were adopted just this June 8 – with the demand that the schools see they are implemented by July 1st. This is patently unfair. Just 17 days, in one of the busiest school months of the year, to implement more than 80 pages of changes - is simply impossible.
Dozens of organizations opposed these new codes. Scores of parents drove to Trenton to testify; more than 800 individuals wrote to the Board to express their concern, and more than 2,000 signed a petition for the implementation of the rules to be postponed. Given that we are all not just parents, but caregivers as well, this an extraordinary amount of time and effort.
As your constituent, and the voice of my daughter Rose – I implore you Senator Pennacchio to demand more time to see these codes implemented.
I join thousands of other advocates across New Jersey in asking you and all your colleagues for more time. Please support the budget resolution calling for a delay in implementation. This will give schools time to make necessary changes, and prevent avoidable disruptions. Please understand, “disruptions” for children like my daughter Rosie are major issues for them and therefore, us, the families.
In advance, I send my profound thanks,
Jeannie M McGuire
Montville, NJ 07045
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