New Jersey Extends Statute of Limitations for Special Education Compensatory Education Related to COVID-19

On March 3, 2022, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law legislation that extends the statute of limitations for filing a due process petition regarding the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of a child with a disability, or the provision of a free appropriate public education to a student, during a COVID-19 school closure, or a period of virtual, remote, or in-person instruction that accrued between March 18, 2020 and September 1, 2021. The new law extends the date to file for due process for the aforementioned claims until September 1, 2023 and is applicable to both parents/guardians and local educational agencies. In sum, the new law provides the following:

  • Prior to December 31, 2022, schools must hold an Individualized Education Program (“IEP”) Team Meeting to discuss compensatory education and services for every student with a disability who had an IEP in place between March 18, 2020 and September 1, 2021.
  • Parents, guardians, and local educational agencies have the ability to file for due process until September 1, 2023 for alleged violations of the law that occurred between March 18, 2020 and September 1, 2021.
  • If the school previously convened an IEP meeting with the parent or guardian before March 3, 2022 and discussed the need for compensatory education and other services at the meeting, and gave the appropriate written notice to the parent/guardian of the IEP Team’s decision, the school is not required to hold another IEP meeting unless agreed upon between the parent/guardian and the school.
  • If a parent or guardian filed for mediation or a due process hearing with respect to the need for compensatory education and services for a student with a disability who had an IEP at any time between March 18, 2020 and September 1, 2021, and that matter was resolved as a result of a mediation, settlement agreement, or a judicial or administrative order, then the parent or guardian is prohibited from filing the same claims for the same time period alleged in their prior lawsuit.

As a reminder, this update applies only to New Jersey schools that are subject to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and its related laws and regulations. Please stay tuned to Barton Gilman’s website for other updates that may apply to your state and school.

Should your school have any questions regarding this update or special education in general contact Chris Barrett in Barton Gilman’s Philadelphia office at cbarrett@bglaw.com or your Barton Gilman education law attorney.