This article originally appeared on NJ Spotlight.

New Jersey’s judicial system for resolving special education disputes has itself been long in a dispute over arguments that it takes too long, costs too much, is biased toward districts or is biased toward families.

Now the federal Department of Education has entered the debate, this month ordering the state to come up with a better due-process system within three months. It said the current process involving the Office of Administrative Law has left too many cases unresolved for too long.

The Murphy administration’s response, for now, is to pilot a system outside the courts altogether, setting up a team of quasi-judicial hearing officers to hear and decide disputes. The state Department of Education

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