Legislative Update: Lame Duck Session ContinuesSchool Board Notes, November 9, 2021

On Monday, Nov. 15, various legislative committees convened either remotely or at the State House and advanced various measures affecting New Jersey’s public school districts.

Legislative Update: Governor Acts on Education Measures, Lame Duck Session of the Legislature BeginsSchool Board Notes, November 9, 2021

On Monday, Nov. 8, Gov. Phil Murphy acted on approximately 90 bills that the Legislature sent to his desk before going into recess this summer, including over a dozen school-related proposals. In addition, the Legislature returned to activity and kicked off the portion of the two-year legislative session commonly referred to as “lame duck.”

State Board Honors PTA Members, Considers Proposing ELL AmendmentsSchool Board Notes, November 9, 2021

At its November meeting, the State Board of Education heard updates, passed a resolution recognizing the New Jersey PTA, and took action on proposed regulations concerning English language learners.

Joint Committee Holds Hearing on School ReopeningSchool Board Notes, October 19, 2021

On Tuesday, Oct. 19th, the Joint Committee of the Public Schools convened a hearing to receive testimony from various invited guests, including the NJSBA, on the issue of school reopening.

SBOE Update: State Board of Education Recognizes Principals Month, Tackles Bilingual EducationSchool Board Notes, October 13, 2021

At its October meeting, the New Jersey State Board of Education passed a resolution recognizing October as National Principals Month and discussed regulations concerning bilingual education.

Legislative Update: New Laws Establish Mental Health Grants, Promote STEM, Combat Food InsecuritySchool Board Notes, October 5, 2021

Among the measures, signed last week, is a grant program to promote depression screenings for students in grades 7-12.

Legislative Update: Governor Approves Two Education Measures – School Board Notes, September 28, 2021

The measures include a limited teacher certification pilot and protocols for students who have had a concussion.

NJSBA Legislative Committee Meets – School Board Notes, September 21, 2021

On Sept. 18, Gov. Murphy’s deputy chief of staff for outreach joined the NJSBA Legislative Committee and spoke about a variety of topics of interest to school board members.  The committee also received updates from the NJSBA governmental relations team and began discussion on the development of the Association’s Advocacy Agenda.

SBOE Update: State Board of Education Rescinds Emergency Action Permitting Virtual Instruction for Special Ed Students – School Board Notes, September 14, 2021

At its September monthly meeting, the State Board of Education heard updates and took action on the following items: Special Education; Homeless Children and Students in State Facilities; Dynamin Learning Maps Cut Scores; ACCESS for ELLs; Standards and Assessments; and Cut Scores for the Praxis and edTPA.

Legislative Update: Governor Signs Anti-Hazing Measure – School Board Notes, August 24, 2021

The bill was inspired by an incident where a student from New Jersey fell down a flight of stairs and later died after participating in drinking games as part of the pledging process for a Penn State University fraternity.

SBOE Update: Assessments, Homeless Students, Charter Schools Discussed at State Board Meeting – School Board Notes, August 10, 2021

The State Board adopted, without changes, the regulations concerning charter schools.

Murphy Signs Laura Wooten’s Law, Strengthening Civics Instruction – School Board Notes, July 27, 2021

On July 23, Governor Murphy signed “Laura Wooten’s Law,” which directs the N.J. Department of Education (NJDOE) to require at least one course specifically in civics or United States government as part of the social studies credit requirement for middle school graduation.

Legislative Update: Murphy Signs Bill Permitting Parents to Ask That Their Child Repeat a Grade; Chapter 44 Measure Signed; Senate Approves Regionalization Bill – School Board Notes, July 13, 2021

In other action, grants were released to pay for improved facilities at county vocational-technical schools and community colleges.

Legislative Update: Bevy of Education Measures Headed to Governor – School Board Notes, June 29, 2021

In addition to approving the new state budget, the Senate and General Assembly gave final passage to dozens of bills affecting New Jersey school districts and students. School district regionalization and Chapter 44 amendments are expected to win final approval from the state Senate on June 30.

New State Budget Contains $125 Million More to Meet Extraordinary Special Education CostsSchool Board Notes, June 29, 2021

Gov. Phil Murphy signed the new state budget into law on June 29. Passed by a party line vote, it spends $46.4 billion, a 15% increase from last year. The budget will also add $578 million more in direct formula aid to schools, the same increase first announced in February.

SBOE Update: Interim Data Shows Academic Performance Lagging; NJDOE Cautions Against Comparisons to Previous AssessmentsSchool Board Notes, June 22, 2021

The State Board nominated Kathy Goldenberg and Andrew Mulvihill to serve an additional year as president and vice-president, respectively. The board will hold officer elections at its July meeting.

Governor Signs Bill Extending Special Education Benefits for 8,700 StudentsSchool Board Notes, June 22, 2021

NJSBA successfully sought amendments to make sure that mandates in the bill were funded.

Legislative Update: $46.4 Billion State Budget Deal Reached; Dozens of Education Bills AdvanceSchool Board Notes, June 22, 2021

Extraordinary Special Education funding is being increased $125 million to $400 million — a 45% increase over last year’s amount.

Legislative Update: Regionalization Measure Regains MomentumSchool Board Notes, June 15, 2021

In other action, an Assembly committee advanced legislation to make changes to Chapter 44, which would affect school employees’ health benefits coverage and payment obligations.

NJSBA: Don’t Remove Incentives to Keep Solar Energy Growing at New Jersey’s SchoolsSchool Board Notes, June 8, 2021

The proposal under consideration at the BPU would thwart efforts of school districts to reduce operating costs and save taxpayers money.

Gov. Murphy Signs Legislation to End COVID Public Health EmergencySchool Board Notes, June 8, 2021

The governor announced last month that after the 2020-2021 school year, portions of an executive order allowing remote learning will be rescinded. Schools will be required to provide full-day, in-person instruction, as they were prior to the pandemic.

Legislative Update: Special Education, Robotics, Suicide Prevention Measures Sent to GovernorSchool Board Notes, June 8, 2021

Legislation sent to governor to create more opportunities for young women and minorities; five bills to improve teacher diversity also advance.

Legislative Update: Assembly Approves Special Education Bill and ‘Laura Wooten’s Law’School Board Notes, May 25, 2021

On May 20, the full state Assembly approved more than half a dozen education-related measures, including a bill that could entitle special education students to an additional year of services beyond the year they are scheduled to “age out” of eligibility. Bills also advanced that would allow students to be screened for depression, and retired school nurses to return to work during the pandemic without having to re-enroll in the pension system.

NJSBA Participates in Regionalization RoundtableSchool Board Notes, May 18, 2021

On Friday, May 14, Senate President Steve Sweeney hosted a roundtable discussion on the benefits and challenges of school district regionalization. The New Jersey School Boards Association was invited to participate and was represented by Director of Governmental Relations Jonathan Pushman.

Legislative Update: Mental Health, Summer School, Special Ed and Grade Retention Measures Continue to AdvanceSchool Board Notes, May 18, 2021

Last week the Legislature returned from its customary budget break and kicked off what is expected to be an incredibly busy spring. On Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, the Assembly and Senate Education Committees convened and advanced over 20 school-related measures.

SBOE Update: State Board Delays Action on Learning Standards; Discusses Appeals Process for Graduation ExamSchool Board Notes, May 11, 2021

Due to the pandemic, the State Board delayed implementation of the revised learning standards until September 2022.

Acting Commissioner Testifies Before Assembly Budget CommitteeSchool Board Notes, May 11, 2021

As the Legislature’s “budget break” begins to wind down, New Jersey Acting Commissioner Angelica Allen-McMillan went before the Assembly Budget Committee on May 10 to discuss the education component of Gov. Murphy’s fiscal year 2022 proposed budget.

New Law Signed on COVID Supply Purchase; Association Offers Money-Saving Cooperative PricingSchool Board Notes, May 11, 2021

The NJSBA applauded Gov. Murphy for signing into law legislation that will help school districts purchase, at an affordable price, the COVID-19 supplies they need to restart and maintain in-person instruction.

Legislative Update: Bills to Create Social-Emotional Learning Program, Address Substitute Teacher Shortages Now LawSchool Board Notes, May 11, 2021

On Tuesday, May 11, Gov. Murphy signed two education-related measures into law. NJSBA supported both measures throughout the legislative process.

Legislative Update: Bill to Help Alleviate Teacher Shortages Now LawSchool Board Notes, April 20, 2021

Legislation requiring bias training for arbitrators was also signed by the governor.

SBOE Update: State Board of Education Hears Update on Federal Response to Waiver RequestSchool Board Notes, April 13, 2021

The federal government responded to the state’s request to be permitted to substitute the Start Strong assessment for the standardized spring tests for students.

Budget Hearings: Questions Raised about Billions in Surplus and the Status of Statewide TestsSchool Board Notes, April 13, 2021

Following the conclusion of public testimony on the proposed FY2021-22 budget, the budget committees of both legislative houses have moved on to taking testimony from commissioners and other heads of administrative departments.

Legislative Update: School Regionalization Bill Advances; Parental Notification for Marijuana Offenses Signed into LawSchool Board Notes, March 30, 2021

On March 25, the state Senate unanimously approved S-3488, which would provide financial incentives for smaller districts to regionalize if merging makes sense for them. Now on the governor’s desk is legislation creating a pilot social-emotional learning program in the early elementary years, and another measure that would ease substitute teaching certification requirements.

Legislative Update: Regionalization, Special Education Measures Continue to AdvanceSchool Board Notes, March 23, 2021

“Laura Wooten’s Law,” requiring increased civics instruction, and a bill affecting student journalists’ rights were among the education-related bills that moved forward.

In State Budget Testimony, NJSBA Welcomes $578 Million in New Formula Aid, Supports Stabilization AidSchool Board Notes, March 23, 2021

The Association also applauds the proposed increase in Extraordinary Special Education Aid, which will help more than 500 school districts.

Chapter 44 Resolution Available; Unions Obligated to Negotiate Financial ImpactSchool Board Notes, March 23, 2021

the NJSBA has made a sample resolution available to boards of education that they may adopt, urging the governor and Legislature to provide financial relief to offset any losses they’ve experiencing while implementing the 2020 law that made various to changes to school employees health care benefits.

Governor Signs NJSBA-Backed Budget Flexibility MeasureSchool Board Notes, March 16, 2021

The bill is part of the Association’s advocacy agenda, which was published in Choosing the Best ‘Road Back’ for Our Children, the second in a series of four special reports on education during the pandemic.

Regionalization Discussed by Sen. Gopal with NJSBA Legislative CommitteeSchool Board Notes, March 9, 2021

On Saturday March 6, the NJSBA Legislative Committee hosted Democratic Sen. Vin Gopal, from Monmouth County, to discuss school district regionalization and other issues.

Legislative Update: Education Committee Advances Regionalization Bill, Measures to Address COVID-Related Learning GapsSchool Board Notes, March 9, 2021

A bill to establish a 16-member Student Mental Health Task Force also advanced.

SBOE Update: ‘Start Strong’ Assessment Data Reported at March State Board MeetingSchool Board Notes, March 9, 2021

At its March meeting, the State Board of Education reviewed the results of the Start Strong Assessment and took action on various other items.

Legislative Update: NJSBA-Backed COVID-19 Procurement Measure Heads to Governor; Mental Health Package AdvancesSchool Board Notes, March 2, 2021

On Monday, March 1, the full Assembly advanced several education-related bills. Among those given final legislative approval were two that the NJSBA has been actively supporting throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, one of which is aimed at helping districts obtain COVID-19 related goods and services, and another that would grant districts flexibility in developing their next budget 

Governor Proposes $578 Million Increase in Education Formula AidSchool Board Notes, February 23, 2021

The budget proposal increases funding for extraordinary special education costs and pre-kindergarten. Stabilization aid, for districts affected adversely by the state funding formula, was also increased.

Sample Resolution Available for Boards to Urge Relief from Chapter 44 CostsSchool Board Notes, February 23, 2021

The NJSBA has developed a sample resolution, expressing concerns about Chapter 44 costs, that boards of education may consider adopting.

Senators Say They Will Introduce Regionalization BillSchool Board Notes, February 23, 2021

Legislation to encourage the creation of K-12 regional and countywide school districts will soon be introduced in the state Senate, according to two Democrats — Senate President Steve Sweeney and Sen. Vin Gopal — and a Republican, Declan O’Scanlon. 

NJSBA Testifies about Safely Reopening Schools and Students’ Mental HealthSchool Board Notes, February 9, 2021

The NJSBA testified Feb. 9 at a hearing of the Joint Committee on the Public Schools on how New Jersey can successfully reopen schools while addressing learning loss and the social emotional impact the pandemic has had on the students and teachers of New Jersey.

SBOE Update: Pandemic Slows Jersey City’s Transition to Local ControlSchool Board Notes, February 9, 2021

At its monthly meeting, the State Board of Education heard an update on Jersey City’s transition to local control. It also passed a resolution recognizing February as Career and Technical Education Month, acknowledging that nearly 150,000 students participate in career and technical programs.

School Board Members, NJSBA, Meet with Assemblywoman Aura DunnSchool Board Notes, February 2, 2021

Board members discussed educational issues with their elected state representative in Morris County

Legislative Update: Senate Approves Bills on Civics Instruction, Teacher Certification – School Board Notes, February 2, 2021

The Senate also approved easing substitute teaching requirements and the creation of a school discipline task force.

Sample Resolution Provided for Boards to Request Educators Be Given Priority for Vaccines – School Board Notes, January 26, 2021

At the request of some of its members, the NJSBA has drafted a sample resolution that asks Gov. Murphy to identify school personnel as essential workers, and give them priority for the available vaccinations.

‘Chapter 44’ Now in Effect; NJSBA Monitoring Implementation and Seeking DataSchool Board Notes, January 26, 2021

One of the most significant concerns is that the enabling legislation did not guarantee every school district would share in the projected savings.

Legislative Update: Learning Progression Bill Approved by Assembly CommitteeSchool Board Notes, January 26, 2021

The committee also approved a pilot social-emotional learning program for the early elementary years.

Legislative Update: Senate Education Committee Advances Teacher Diversity PackageSchool Board Notes, January

20, 2021

The Senate Education Committee advanced eight bills, sponsored by committee chair Sen. Teresa Ruiz, aimed at increasing the diversity of the state’s education workforce, preventing teacher shortages, and cultivating inclusive learning environments. A bill released by the Senate Economic Growth Committee would help schools upgrade their water and ventilation systems to better protect the health of students, educators and workers. 

SBOE Update: Modest Start for ‘Start Strong’ Assessment; Local Control Returned to PatersonSchool Board Notes, January 12, 2021

Regulations for transportation and adult education were also addressed at the monthly meeting of the State Board of Education.

Legislative Update: Governor Signs Amistad Commission Measure; COVID-19 Procurement Bill Advances School Board Notes, January 12, 2021

NJSBA supports the procurement legislation, which is part of the Association’s “Pandemic Advocacy Agenda” that identifies action items to help school boards cope with the pandemic.

NJQSAC Relief Bill Now Law; Learning Loss Study Measure AdvancesSchool Board Notes, December 29, 2020

On Dec. 23, Gov. Murphy approved legislation that would provide districts relief from the periodic monitoring and district self-evaluation system known as NJQSAC. NJSBA strongly supported the measure throughout the legislative process. The full Senate approved a bill requiring the commissioner of education to conduct a study on the impact of the COVID-19 public health emergency on public schooling.

Legislative Update: Mental Health Bills Advance; NJQSAC Relief Primed for Final VoteSchool Board Notes, December 15, 2020

On Monday, Dec. 14, the NJSBA testified at the Assembly Education Committee in support of a series of bills to assist students with their mental health needs.

Legislative Update: NJQSAC Relief Bill Advanced by Senate Committee; School Audit Delay Signed into LawSchool Board Notes, December 8, 2020

On Monday, Dec. 7, the Senate Education Committee convened to consider a busy agenda. The approved bills included one of the NJSBA’s pandemic-related advocacy agenda items that would delay the QSAC review process for districts in the current school year.

NJSBA, League of Municipalities Express Concerns about New Public Meeting RegulationsSchool Board Notes, November 24, 2020

On Nov. 18, the NJSBA and the N.J. League of Municipalities jointly filed comments with the state’s Division of Local Government Services (DLGS), concerning its new remote meeting regulations.

Legislative Update: Assembly Advances NJQSAC Relief Bill; Education Measures Head to GovernorSchool Board Notes, November 17, 2020

A bill that would delay the filing of school audits during the public health emergency received final legislative approval.

SBOE Update: State Board Discusses ‘Start Strong’ Assessment at No Cost to Districts School Board Notes, November 10, 2020

At its November meeting, the State Board of Education lso made appointments to the State Special Education Advisory Council and took action on various other items.

Legislative Update: Senate Pulls Vote on ‘Coaches Bill’ Opposed by NJSBA; Sample BOE Resolution Now AvailableSchool Board Notes, November 4, 2020

On Oct. 29, the full state Senate was scheduled to vote on Senate Bill No. 2843, which would have established various job protections for high school athletic coaches. However, the Senate removed the bill from its board list prior to the start of the voting session and it did not receive a vote. 

Legislative Update: Assembly Committee Addresses Social Justice Issues; Senate Committee Advances COVID-19 Procurement MeasureSchool Board Notes, October 27, 2020

The Assembly Education Committee held a hearing to receive testimony from invited guests on issues related to racial inclusivity and social justice in the state’s education system and the innovative curriculum needed to address these issues.

Action Alert: Overreaching Coaches’ Contracts Bill Scheduled for Oct. 29 Senate VoteSchool Board Notes, October 27, 2020

NJSBA urges boards of education to contact their state senators and ask them to vote “no” on S-2843, often referred to as the “coaches bill,” which is scheduled for a Senate floor vote.

SBOE Update: State Board Hears Update on Return to Local Control in PatersonSchool Board Notes, October 14, 2020

At its October meeting, the State Board of Education also announced the 2020-2021 Teacher of the Year.

Legislative Leaders to Appear at Virtual Workshop 2020School Board Notes, October 14, 2020

Legislators scheduled to participate this year include Senate President Stephen Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick and Senator Steven Oroho.

Legislative Update: Bills Advance on Quarantine Restrictions, School Meals and Return of Local Control to DistrictsSchool Board Notes, September 29, 2020

On Thursday, Sept. 24, the full Senate and Assembly took action on various education-related bills at their respective voting sessions.

Governor Signs Budget Providing Increases for Special Education and Student Mental HealthSchool Board Notes, September 29, 2020

Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday signed a $32.7 billion state budget that keeps overall state aid to education at 2019-2020 levels, while adding money for extraordinary special education costs and restoring a critical student mental health program.

Legislature Restores Funding for School Based Youth Services, Increases Special Ed Aid, Advances FY2021 Budget BillsSchool Board Notes, September 22, 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 15, 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 15, 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 15, 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 15, 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.