Parents and advocates in New Jersey are divided over a proposal from the state’s governor to establish autism-specific schools throughout the state, igniting a debate over whether children with disabilities are best educated amongst themselves or within mainstream classrooms.

Gov. Chris Christie suggested last week that each of the state’s counties should have a specialized school to work with children who have autism.

Christie said creating the schools, which he called “centers of excellence,” would save money by centralizing community efforts to meet the needs of students with autism and reverse a recent push toward individual districts establishing their own autism programs.

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Some advocates said Christie’s proposal would pave the way for better services for families in districts that do not currently have the resources to appropriately educate children with autism. Others, however, were dismayed by the idea that the state could expand segregated educational environments, reports The New York Times. To read more click here.