Legislature Restores Funding for School Based Youth Services, Increases Special Ed Aid, Advances FY2021 Budget BillsSchool Board Notes, September 23, 2020

On Tuesday, Sept. 22, the Senate and Assembly budget committees released the fiscal year 2021 appropriations bill, which would fund government operations from October through next June.

SBOE Update: State Board Clarifies Special Ed RegulationsSchool Board Notes, September 16, 2020

Among other actions taken at the board’s regular monthly meeting, the Interim Commissioner of Education announced the release of a virtual learning toolkit to assist families and schools.

During Budget Hearing, NJDOE Questioned about Students’ Lack of Internet Access – School Board Notes, September 16, 2020

On Thursday, Sept. 10, Interim Education Commissioner Kevin Dehmer went before the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee to discuss the education portion of the fiscal year 2021 budget.

Legislative Update: Governor Signs State School Nurse Consultant Bill and an Anti-Subcontracting Measure; Senate Education Committee Meets – School Board Notes, September 16, 2020

In addition, six bills, including a measure easing substitute teacher requirements, were approved by the Senate Education Committee.

Gov. Murphy Says School-Based Mental Health Services Necessary, but Funding Not Yet in Budget – School Board Notes, September 16, 2020

On Thursday, Sept. 10, Gov. Phil Murphy appeared on the WNYC radio program “Ask the Governor” and expressed his support for funding of the SchoolBased Youth Services Program (SBYSP). NJSBA provides members with sample resolution to express support for program funding.

NJSBA Urges Legislature, Administration to Continue and Expand School Based Youth ServicesSchool Board Notes, September 9, 2020

In communication to the legislative leadership, Senate and Assembly budget committees and the Murphy administration, NJSBA is strongly urging the continuation of services that have been provided to school districts through the Department of Children and Families School Based Youth Services Program.

NJSBA Budget Testimony Cites Impact of ‘Once in a Century’ CrisisSchool Board Notes, September 9, 2020

On Sept. 9, the New Jersey School Boards Association called for a higher level of school funding in the state’s FY2021 budget, citing the additional expenses that schools are incurring due to the coronavirus pandemic, the continued underfunding of districts under the state’s school funding formula, and the inadequate funding of extraordinary special education expenses in the state.

Legislative Update: Burdensome Anti-Subcontracting Measure, NJQSAC Postponement Bill Head to GovernorSchool Board Notes, September 1, 2020

NJSBA led a coalition of education, government and business organizations that opposed the anti-subcontracting bill. The NJQSAC measure would delay district assessments during the pandemic. In addition, the full Assembly passed a cooperative purchasing measure that would assist districts in procuring COVID-19 related goods and services.

Overreaching Coaches’ Contracts Measure Pulled from Senate VoteSchool Board Notes, September 1, 2020

NJSBA thanks all board members who assisted in our advocacy efforts in opposing the legislation, which would infringe on school boards’ responsibility to make personnel decisions.The NJSBA joined several other statewide education organizations in aggressively opposing the legislation, including the N.J. Principals and Supervisors Association, Garden State Coalition of Schools, and N.J. Association of School Administrators.

Legislative Update: Bill Represents an ‘Unnecessary and Inappropriate Overreach’ into a Board of Education’s Duty to Make Responsive Personnel DecisionsSchool Board Notes, August 25, 2020

Following approval by Senate Budget Committee, NJSBA asks members to contact their state Senator, urging a “NO” vote. The Senate Education Committee also met. Among other items, the committee advanced bills concerning QSAC flexibility, remote instruction, and cooperative purchasing of COVID-related goods.

NJSBA on Governor’s Budget Address: Additional Federal Funding Needed for Education During PandemicSchool Board Notes, August 25, 2020

The New Jersey School Boards Association 5 joined in Governor Murphy’s call for federal financial support to help states and local school districts meet the challenges posed by the pandemic.

New State Budget Calls for $7.3 Billion for Schools; Murphy Also Announces $100 Million for Health StandardsSchool Board Notes, August 25, 2020

On Aug. 25, Gov. Phil Murphy proposed a $32.4 billion budget for the shortened nine-month FY2021, including $7.3 billion in direct state aid to school districts. Total education aid represents essentially flat funding from fiscal year 2020, although that does not necessarily mean flat funding for individual districts. 

Legislative Update: Gov. Signs Bill Establishing Tenure-Like Protection for Support StaffSchool Board Notes, August 18, 2020

On Thursday, Aug. 13, Gov. Phil Murphy approved an NJSBA-opposed bill that would establish tenure-like protection for school district support staff.

N.J. Supreme Court Allows State to Borrow up to $9.9 Billion to Meet Pandemic-Related ExpensesSchool Board Notes, August 11, 2020

The high court’s decision will impact the governor’s Aug. 25 budget message and state aid to schools for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.

Legislative Update: Tax Credits for Apprenticeships, Help in Purchasing COVID Supplies among Measures Approved by CommitteesSchool Board Notes, August 11, 2020

Legislation providing STEM opportunities for women and minorities also advanced.

Legislative Update: School Nurse Consultant Bill Sent to GovernorSchool Board Notes, August 4, 2020

Bills concerning depression screenings for students and delaying the student athlete physical exam requirement for the fall also advanced.

Legislative Update: School Nurse Consultant, Student Depression Screening Bills Headed to Assembly VoteSchool Board Notes, July 28, 2020

The Assembly Education Committee also held discussions on school reopening; NJSBA’s Mike Vrancik testified on behalf of boards of education.

Bill Package Would Boost Mental Health Services in SchoolsSchool Board Notes, July 21, 2020

On Monday, July 20, Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald (D-6) unveiled a series of bills intended to enhance mental health services and resources available to New Jersey’s public school students. 

Legislative Update: COVID-19 Emergency Bond Act SignedSchool Board Notes, July 21, 2020

The law authorizes the state to borrow up to $9.9 billion to address the state’s fiscal crisis.

Legislative Update: Assembly Committee Approves Bill Delaying Physical Exam Requirement for Student-AthletesSchool Board Notes, July 14, 2020

The amended bill originally proposed waiving the physical examination requirement for the fall season.

Senate Committee Passes Bill to Enable $9.9 Billion in State BorrowingSchool Board Notes, July 14, 2020

The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee voted to approve a bill that paves the way for the state to borrow up to $9.9 billion to fill budget holes created by the pandemic.

SBOE Update: Full Local Control Returned to the Newark Public School SystemSchool Board Notes, July 7, 2020

The New Jersey State Board of Education voted on July 1 to return full local control to the Newark School District, nearly 25 years to the day after the state took control of district operations.

Legislative Update: Graduation Insurance and Furlough Measures Signed into LawSchool Board Notes, July 7, 2020

The NJSBA obtained an amendment that would specifically authorize boards of education and their contracted service providers to implement job-sharing furlough programs.

New Statute Allows Electronic Filing of School Board Nominating PetitionsSchool Board Notes, July 7, 2020

Governor signs NJSBA-sought legislation that allows electronic collection of petition signatures for school board candidacy and their submission for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Governor Signs Bill, Creating a ‘Bridge Year Pilot Program’ for Extracurricular ActivitiesSchool Board Notes, June 30, 2020

Students may seek permission to postpone graduation to play sports and participate in other activities.

Legislative Update: Legislature Holds In-Person Voting Sessions, Approves 3-Month Spending PlanSchool Board Notes, June 30, 2020

Governor signs $7.7 billion budget to keep government running through September 30.

Major Health Benefits Reform Bill to Be Signed into Law; Job Protection Measures Also AdvanceSchool Board Notes, June 30, 2020

On June 29, the Legislature gave final approval to a proposal intended to save school districtstheir employees and taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars by overhauling the health care plans offered to school employees. Gov. Murphy announced he will sign the bill on July 1. 

Legislative Update: Bridge Year Program for Sports; Electronic Procurement, and Graduation Insurance Measures AdvanceSchool Board Notes, June 23, 2020

The “Bridge Year Pilot Program” proposal now goes to Governor Murphy.

Legislative Update: Bills on Student Athlete Physicals, Anti-Hazing, and Electronic Construction Procurement Move ForwardSchool Board Notes, June 16, 2020

The full state Senate convened for a remote voting session on Monday, June 15 and advanced the various bills being actively tracked by the NJSBA. In addition, the Assembly Labor Committee released legislation promoting apprenticeships for under-represented populations.

NJSBA Facebook Live Events: I-STEAM and a Legislative UpdateSchool Board Notes, June 9, 2020

On Thursday, June 11, Jonathan Pushman, an NJSBA legislative advocate, discussed advocacy in the age of COVID-19 and provided an update from Trenton.

Legislative Update: Assembly Authorizes Borrowing Billions; NJSBA Testifies About Emma’s LawSchool Board Notes, June 9, 2020

As expected, on June 4 the General Assembly legislation which would authorize the state to borrow $5 billion by selling bonds, while also permitting the state to borrow additional money from the federal government to balance the budget.

Guidance on Reopening Schools Expected by Mid-June; Sen. Ruiz Calls for Equal Access to the Internet for All StudentsSchool Board Notes, June 9, 2020

In a sometimes contentious hearing held by the Senate Education Committee, Senators asked New Jersey Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet to discuss the obstacles that need to be overcome if schools are to reopen safely in September.

New State Aid Figures Available for Every DistrictSchool Board Notes, June 2, 2020

The new aid numbers reflect the recent announcement by the state treasurer of a proposed $336 million reduction in state education aid.

Legislative Update: Assembly Committee Approves Plan to Borrow BillionsSchool Board Notes, June 2, 2020

The Assembly Budget Committee voted on June 1 to permit the state to issue $5 billion in general obligation bonds as well as borrow from the federal government to balance the state budget.

Treasurer’s Report Shows How $10 Billion Revenue Shortfall Could Impact Education AidSchool Board Notes, May 27, 2020

To address a $10 billion shortfall in revenues, the state treasurer released a report on May 22 that proposes the elimination of state aid increases that had been earmarked for education.

Legislative Update: Bill Affecting Distribution of Property Tax Revenues EnactedSchool Board Notes, May 19, 2020

Lawmakers also approved legislation that would facilitate the implementation of temporary job-sharing furlough programs by the state and local governments, including school districts.

State Board Monthly Meeting UpdateSchool Board Notes, May 12, 2020

At its May monthly meeting, which was held virtually, New Jersey’s State Board of Education heard updates and took action on various items, including a resolution recognizing Physical Education and Sport Month and approval of the annual religious holidays calendar.

Senate President Addresses NJSBA Legislative CommitteeSchool Board Notes, May 12, 2020

The Senate President spoke about a range of topics, including the need for districts to receive updated information on school funding; his proposed Employee Job-Sharing Furlough Protection Act, and health benefits reform.

Legislature Set to Move Bills to Alter Tax Payments to Schools; Furlough Bill AdvancesSchool Board Notes, May 12, 2020

S-2392/A-3969, scheduled for a vote in both houses of the Legislature on Thursday, May 14, would authorize the Department of Community Affairs to permit municipalities to delay or alter the transmission of property tax revenue to school districts during gubernatorial-declared emergencies, such as the state’s current situation.

Legislative Update: Hunger Free Students’ Bill of Rights SignedSchool Board Notes, May 5, 2020

The governor vetoed the “Bridging the Digital Divide Grant Program” bill, explaining that federal funds may be available for achieving the legislation’s goals.

Senate Education Recovery Task Force Holds First MeetingSchool Board Notes, May 5, 2020

The task force will address the challenges facing students, teachers, parents and administrators in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

NJSBA Reviews Legislative Developments on Facebook LiveSchool Board Notes, April 28, 2020

On Thursday, April 23, NJSBA Legislative Advocate Jonathan Pushman appeared on a Facebook Live Event to provide an update on the latest developments from Trenton and answer question from viewers.

Sweeney Proposes Furlough Program to Produce Savings for State, Local GovernmentsSchool Board Notes, April 21, 2020

The plan aims to save the state and local governments, including school districts, millions of dollars by instituting temporary furlough programs for their employees.

Governor Extends Fiscal Year; May 22 Treasurer’s Report to Reveal Extent of Revenue LossSchool Board Notes, April 14, 2020

Gov. Phil Murphy on April 14 signed into law legislation to extend the state’s fiscal year by three months, to Sept. 30, and delay the state income tax filing deadline. The legislation also requires the state treasurer to report by May 22 how the shutdown of most tax-generating businesses has affected state revenues. A new state budget proposal is due by Aug. 25.

Updated Legislative Directory Available Now School Board Notes, April 7, 2020

The downloadable directory includes contact information for state and federal lawmakers, the NJDOE, and other state officials.

SBOE Update: State Board Waives Prohibition on Delivering Special Ed Services RemotelySchool Board Notes, April 7, 2020

The State Board of Education held its monthly meeting on April 1. It was the first meeting conducted remotely, and the first since the statewide closure of schools took effect in March.

State Budget Extended as Pandemic Disrupts Revenues – School Board Notes, March 31, 2020

The state has delayed the start of the new fiscal year until Oct. 1; also an update on A-3902, which would grant municipalities the financial flexibility to delay tax payments to school districts.

NJSBA Experts Answer Legislative QuestionsSchool Board Notes, March 31, 2020

On Friday, March 27, Jonathan Pushman and Christopher Jones, NJSBA governmental relations advocates, joined podcast host Ray Pinney to discuss current and future legislative issues.

NJSBA Opposes Legislation to Delay Tax Payments to School DistrictsSchool Board Notes, March 31, 2020

By a vote of 79-0, the state Assembly on March 25 approved legislation, A-3902, that would authorize the Department of Community Affairs to permit municipalities to delay the  transmission of property tax revenues to school districts.

March 27 Podcast: Advocacy in the Age of COVID-19 – School Board Notes, March 24, 2020

The podcast will address the state budget and health benefit reforms.

Senate Advances Major Health Savings Plan, Two Other Union-Backed Bills – School Board Notes, March 24, 2020

On Thursday, March 19, the state Senate advanced legislation aimed at saving school districts, school employees and taxpayers hundreds of millions in health care costs. The NJSBA has requested that a comprehensive, district-by-district analysis of the bill’s fiscal impact be completed before it obtains final passage. Anti-subcontracting and job protection bills strongly opposed by NJSBA were also passed.

Education Legislation Approved to Address COVID-19 Threat – School Board Notes, March 24, 2020

A measure to make it easier to conduct remote or virtual meetings, and bills concerning school meals for students were among those approved.

Legislative Update: Assembly Advances Coronavirus Emergency Bill Package – School Board Notes, March 17, 2020

General Assembly approves 30 bills to respond to the virus.

NJSBA Testifies on Proposed State Budget – School Board Notes, March 17, 2020

NJSBA on March 12 urged the Legislature to substantially increase funding for extraordinary special education expenses.

SBOE Update: State Board Reviews Perkins V Plan, School Performance Reports, Revised Scores for Graduation – School Board Notes, March 10, 2020

The readoption of special education rules was also discussed.

Legislative Update: Pre-Apprenticeship; Electric School Bus and Teacher Loan Redemption Programs Approved by State Senate – School Board Notes, March 10, 2020

Plastic bag ban and “Gun Violence Awareness Day” also move forward.

Senate President Announces Health Benefits Compromise; Estimates $1 Billion in Annual SavingsSchool Board Notes, March 10, 2020

Senate President Steve Sweeney outlined on March 9 a landmark agreement that will produce more than $1 billion in annual savings for taxpayers and educators by providing a new health benefits plan with reduced contributions by school district employees and major cost savings for local property taxpayers.

Budget Calls for $336 Million Increase in Formula AidSchool Board Notes, February 25, 2020

K-12 education formula aid would increase by $336 million, or 3.9%, under Gov. Phil Murphy’s proposed $40.9 billion 2020-2021 state budget introduced Tuesday. The budget proposal also includes $50 million in “stabilization aid” and addresses health benefit costs.

Legislative Update: School Lunch, Cable TV Bills AdvanceSchool Board Notes, February 25, 2020

Three school meal bills that were recently released in the Assembly Education Committee were approved Feb. 24 by the full Assembly.

Senate Resolution Urges Boards to Adopt NJSBA Mental Health Task Force RecommendationsSchool Board Notes, February 19, 2020

Senator Declan O’Scanlon introduced a resolution, SR-38, last week that urges local boards of education  to adopt the recommendations of “Building a Foundation for Hope,” the final report of the NJSBA Task Force on Mental Health Services in the Public Schools.

Legislative Update: Bills Advance on School Lunches; Electric School Buses; Student Journalist RightsSchool Board Notes, February 19, 2020

The NJSBA supported a package of school lunch bills that were recently heard but not approved in the last legislative session. Teacher loan redemption and joint health insurance purchasing bills also move forward.

SBOE Update: NJDOE Proposes Changes to Teacher EvaluationsSchool Board Notes, February 11, 2020

At its monthly meeting, the New Jersey State Board of Education heard updates and took action on various items, including proposed changes to educator evaluation regulations.  The Board also received an update on the Jersey City school district’s transition to local control.

Senator Doherty, Assemblymen DiMaio, Peterson and Bergen Meet with NJSBA and Local Board MembersSchool Board Notes, February 11, 2020

In recent weeks, the New Jersey School Boards Association and local board members met with elected representatives to discuss education issues.

NJSBA Stands by Position on Cap AdjustmentSchool Board Notes, February 4, 2020

After a report on the negative impact of the governor’s veto of the cap adjustment bill, NJSBA reiterated its stance in favor of the proposal.

Legislative Update: Apprenticeship and Workforce Development Measures AdvanceSchool Board Notes, February 4, 2020

The Senate Labor Committee met Jan. 27 and released three bills aimed at expanding apprenticeship opportunities for New Jersey residents. Teacher loan redemption program also moves forward.

Senate Education Committee Holds School Nutrition HearingSchool Board Notes, February 4, 2020

The Senate Education Committee held a 90-minute hearing Monday Jan. 27 on school nutrition, during which experts and educators spoke about the best practices in providing the healthiest foods to children.

NJSBA’s 2020-2021 Legislative Advocacy Agenda/Action PlanSchool Board Notes, January 28, 2020

As a new session of the Legislature gets underway, the NJSBA Board of Directors approved the Association’s Advocacy Agenda, designed to guide its activities over the next two years.

Legislative Update: Governor Signs Over 150 Bills on Final Day, ‘Pocket Vetoes’ OthersSchool Board Notes, January 22, 2020

On Tuesday, Jan. 21, Gov. Phil Murphy signed over 150 bills and resolutions into law, including several school-related measures.  That was the last day on which he could act on any legislation sent to his desk in the waning days of the 2018-2019 legislative session.  Any bills not signed by the governor are considered “pocket vetoed,” meaning they expire without becoming law.