TRENTON, N.J. — A bill has been introduced in the state Legislature that would require a training program to be developed for school bus drivers and aides on interacting with students with special needs.
S274 would require the commissioner of education to develop such a program. The program would need to include, at minimum, instruction on appropriate behavior management, effective communication, use and operation of adaptive equipment, and understanding behaviors that may be related to specific disabilities.
The training would be made available to boards of education and school bus contractors serving school districts no later than one year after the act takes effect. (If approved, the act would take effect immediately.)
A board of education or contractor would be required to administer the training to all of its existing school bus drivers and aides no later than 180 days after it is made available by the commissioner.
In the case of individuals who are hired after the development and availability of the training program, employers must provide the training before those drivers and aides operate and serve on a school bus.
In mid-January, the bill was referred to the Senate Education Committee.