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Abbott v. Burke

June 07, 2004

RAYMOND ARTHUR ABBOTT, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS-RESPONDENTS,
v.
FRED G. BURKE, ET AL., DEFENDANTS-MOVANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Stephen W. Townsend

42,170

ORDER

This matter having come before the Court on the application of the Department of Education (DOE) for a limited modification of the judgment in Abbott v. Burke,

163 N.J. 95 (2000)(Abbott VI);

And the DOE having represented to the Court that in the Abbott districts there are a small number of teachers at Department of Human Services-licensed community provider preschools and federally-funded Head Start programs who will be unable to obtain the required DOE certification by the Court's Abbott VI deadline of September 2004;

And the DOE having sought a relaxation of the deadline to enable non-certified preschool teachers at DHS-licensed providers to seek a waiver of the mandate for up to two years, to September 2006, provided each such teacher:

1. Has thirty or fewer credits left to complete a bachelor's degree;

2. Makes steady academic progress toward obtaining their bachelor's degree;

3. Remains in good academic standing until he or she obtains a bachelor's degree; and

4. Provides DOE with letters of support from the employer and the Abbott district in which the teacher serves;

And the DOE having further sought a relaxation of the September 2004 deadline to enable each similarly situated non-certified Head Start teacher to obtain his or her DOE certification within four years of the date when his or her program first contracted with an Abbott district to include the teacher's classroom;

And the Education Law Center (ELC) and the Association of Children for New Jersey (ACNJ) having joined in the application of the DOE for a relaxation of the Court's judgment, subject, however, to the inclusion in the Court's disposition of language formally adopting the"Proposed Application and Approval Procedures" (Waiver Procedure) developed by Dr. Ellen Frede of the DOE;

And in reply to the position of the ELC and ACNJ, the DOE having represented to the Court that"the first year of implementation of the waiver process will immediately commence so that it will be in place for the 2004-2005 school year" and that the Commissioner and staff of DOE"will work...to amend the existing early childhood regulations at ...


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