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Argued March 21, 2001

In these appeals, which we consolidate for the purpose of issuing our opinion, the issue presented is whether a child who is educated at home is entitled to federal and state funded speech therapy services. We hold that current State education law, which differentiates between nonpublic school students and home-schooled students with respect to providing funds for speech therapy, is constitutional, but in the context of the facts of this case was unconstitutionally applied to the infant plaintiff. These are the pertinent facts that gave rise to this appeal. Plaintiff, Howard Forstrom, individually and on behalf of his minor son, Gregory Forstrom, brought this lawsuit against their local school district, defendant Board of Education for the Borough of Fair Lawn, and its Superintendent, defendant Robert Byrne (the defendants). Plaintiff sought a declaration that Gregory is entitled to receive speech and language services and reimbursement for the cost of speech therapy services from August 4, 1997, until services are made available to him. Plaintiff’s complaint alleged federal and state statutory and constitutional violations.

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