Paul T. O’Neill opinion piece in NJ Star Ledger on special education contracts

Paul T. O’Neill has written and opinion piece for the New Jersey Star Ledger. The article, “Outrageous NJ school contracts make parents promise not to sue,” reports that some New Jersey schools are requiring parents of students with disabilities to sign a form “that agrees to give up their right to press charges for negligence and injuries of various sorts in connection with providing remote services and forbid parents from being present for, listening in on, or recording virtual educational sessions,” in exchange for access to special education remote learning services.

“That is outrageous and at odds with the law. Students with disabilities are protected by a range of federal and state laws collectively ensuring that they can readily access the services and supports they need — this is called the right to a “free, appropriate public education.”

 – Paul T. O’Neill, a New York-based Barton Gilman education attorney, as well as co-founder and senior fellow at the National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools

Paul is one of the nation’s foremost experts on the legal issues impacting education reform. He served for several years as General Counsel of the SUNY Charter Schools Institute, one of the nation’s leading charter school authorizing offices. After this public service, Paul went into private practice in the boutique national education law firm of Brustein & Manasevit and moved on to hold positions of Senior Vice President, Chief Regulatory Officer, head education lawyer and Senior Fellow for EdisonLearning, the national school management and services organization. He is a former Associate Director of the Newgrange School and Educational Outreach Center in New Jersey, which serves individuals with learning disabilities, and he currently serves on the adjunct faculty of Columbia University’s Teachers College, where he teaches courses on education law and policy, including Designing Charter Schools, Private School Law and Special Education Law & Policy. More information about Paul can be found here.