Governor Christie has signed legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) establishing the Office of the Special Education Ombudsman within the state Department of Education in an effort to offer valuable resources and support for parents with children in the special education system.
“For many parents, navigating our state’s complex special education system can be an overwhelming and burdensome process,” Senator Allen said. “Having this office at the state level will be a tremendous asset for parents who are struggling to clear roadblocks and understand the rights and services their children are entitled to receive.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) to utilize existing state workforce development resources to educate and train laid-off casino workers for new careers was adopted by the New Jersey Senate. The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk for final approval.
“Today my colleagues in the Senate and I embraced a golden opportunity to revitalize Atlantic City’s economy by empowering thousands of former casino workers to pursue new and exciting job opportunities,” Senator Allen said. “This program will help those who are still struggling to find work develop and expand the diverse set of skills needed to succeed in today’s competitive job market. By passing this legislation, we are helping countless individuals forge a new pathway to a successful and fulfilling career.”
Panel Also Adopts Allen Bill to Raise Annual Allowance Paid to Soldiers & Veterans with Certain Service-Connected Disabilities
The Senate Military and Veterans Affairs Committee advanced two bills sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) to enhance the economic vitality and sustainability of the state’s military bases.
The first of the bills, S-3265, would establish the position of the Military and Defense Economic Ombudsman as recommended by the New Jersey Military Installation Growth and Development Task Force. The position is designed to spearhead the state’s efforts to enhance the economic vitality of its military installations in preparation for potential federal budget cuts or a future Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process.
“Permanently establishing this position will make sure there is an ongoing push to not only protect the state’s military installations from closure but to also increase the economic impact they have on local communities and the state as a whole,” said Allen, a member of the Council on Armed Forces and Veterans’ Affairs. “Having a defined point person within the Department of State will allow for enhanced coordination and focus as we continue to work to protect and strengthening Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and other installations across the state.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) ensuring that public school teachers complete professional development on appropriate teacher-student relationships was advanced by the Senate Education Committee.
“It is a troubling reality that in schools across our state, social media, email and texting have blurred the lines of appropriate student-teacher communication,” Senator Allen said. “We must take professional development into the 21st century and ensure that every public school teacher in New Jersey has the knowledge and training to prevent harmful interactions that can jeopardize a child’s health and welfare as well as destroy their own reputation and career.”
Legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) to dedicate existing state workforce development resources to train out-of-work casino employees for new careers was advanced by the Senate Labor Committee.
“These resources will help the many former casino workers who are still searching for a new job receive the training and education they need for existing opportunities in a different industry,” said Allen. “While the casino industry has restricted, there a number of growing fields in New Jersey that offer exciting opportunities for those with the right training. Helping these individuals receive the education or training needed for a new career path is an investment in the region as a whole.”
The Senate voted to adopt bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen establishing the Office of the Special Education Ombudsman within the state Department of Education in an effort to help parents navigate the state’s special education system.
“It can be very difficult for parents to navigate the state’s special education system and to understand what rights and services their children are entitled to,” said Allen (R-Burlington). “Many parents are unsure of where to turn when there is an issue or question with their child’s services. Parents will now have a clear go-to resource when they hit a roadblock at the district office or have a question about their child’s special education services.”
Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) to better track and address chronic absenteeism at New Jersey public schools was advanced today by the Senate Education Committee.
A recent study of New Jersey schools by the non-profit Advocates for Children of New Jersey revealed that about 125,000 kindergarten to 12th grade students, approximately 10 percent of the state’s total public school student population, were chronically absent in the 2013-2014 school year. Chronic absenteeism is defined as having missed 10 percent of the school year, equal to 18 days of a traditional school year, due to excused and unexcused absences not including absences due to chronic medical conditions.
“Far too many students are repeatedly missing days of school and they are falling behind their classmates as a result,” said Allen. “We can’t expect students to succeed if they aren’t even in the classroom. This legislation adds emphasis to the importance of school attendance and it will help identify and address some of the issues that lead to chronic absenteeism.”
Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) has introduced bipartisan legislation to better track and address chronic absenteeism at New Jersey public schools.
“Chronic absenteeism is a significant problem in too many schools and the consequences can be life altering,” said Allen. “Students who miss such a large portion of the year are losing out on valuable instruction time and often fall behind their classmates. The very first step to educating students is making sure they are in the classroom.”
A recent study of New Jersey schools by the non-profit Advocates for Children of New Jersey revealed that about 125,000 kindergarten to 12th grade students, approximately 10 percent of the state’s total public school student population, were chronically absent in the 2013-2014 school year. Chronic absenteeism is defined as having missed 10 percent of the school year, equal to 18 days of a traditional school year, due to excused and unexcused absences.
Legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) creating a council to study and identify solutions for issues surrounding pedestrian and bicycle safety in New Jersey was adopted by the full Senate.
“Compared to the rest of the country a disproportionate number of fatal crashes in New Jersey involve a pedestrian,” said Allen. “This problem is especially clear in Burlington County, where Route 130 has held the unfortunate title of being the state’s most dangerous road for pedestrians for several years in a row. We need to make sure there is a thorough understanding of the factors contributing to tragic crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists on this and other roads in communities across the state. If there are feasible infrastructure, design or traffic law changes we can make to improve safety we need to identify what those items are and implement them as soon as possible.”
The full Senate passed legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen (R-Burlington) to lower the cost of college for New Jersey members of the reserve components of the United States Armed Forces through an expansion of the same tuition benefits already granted to members of the New Jersey National Guard.
“We expect reservists to be ready at a moment’s notice to drop everything and jump into action to support our military in very dangerous and difficult circumstances,” said Allen. “It is only fitting that they be eligible to receive the same education benefits as those already granted to members of the National Guard. This legislation provides an avenue for reservists, who often have to put their lives on hold to help protect this country, to pursue a degree and a career outside of their service.”