In a voting session on July 30, the full Assembly approved several measures that impact the educational community in New Jersey. All bills in both voting sessions are supported by NJSBA unless otherwise specified under the bill number.
State School Nurse Consultant A-4378/S-2573 establishes the position of State School Nurse Consultant in the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) to facilitate best practices in school nursing by advancing comprehensive school health services. The bill requires the commissioner of education to appoint the consultant to work with school districts and school nurses to promote quality school nursing services and school health programs that address the broad health needs of students throughout the state. The person appointed to the position is required to be a certified school nurse who holds a master’s degree in nursing, has management experience, leadership and education administration training or skills. The bill was passed in the Assembly by a vote of 71-3-1, and sent to the governor.
Student Athlete Physical Exam Requirement Delay A-4295/S-2518 delays the physical examination requirement for certain student-athletes who participate in school-sponsored athletic activities during the fall athletic season of 2020-2021 school year. The bill passed the Assembly by a vote of 72-1-1 and the state Senate by a vote of 40-0.
Emergency Federal Funding for Schools Assembly Concurrent Resolution 190 (ACR-190) petitions the federal government for emergency response funding to support safe reopening of schools following the COVID-19 pandemic. The measure passed the Assembly with a vote of 74-1-0.
Depression Screenings A-970, which requires public schools to administer written screenings for depression for students in grades 7 through 12, was passed by the Assembly by a vote of 59-10-5. The bill has now been referred to the Senate Education Committee. NJSBA has supported this bill, although expressed concerns and will continue to advocate for amendments, including one that says that students should receive a screening for depression either by a physician at an annual physical or at school. The Association has also asked for clarification on whether screenings should take place only if students are physically in school, or whether there should be a virtual process, as well.
Passed by the Senate on July 30
Co-curricular Activity Emergency Grant Program S-2540 was passed by the Senate by a vote of 40-0. The measure establishes a Co-Curricular Activity Emergency Grant Program to support operations of co-curricular activities at public schools; and appropriates $750,000 for that purpose. The bill has been referred to the Assembly Education Committee.
Title IX Information S-2162, which requires public schools, and nonpublic schools which receive federal funding, to provide students with information on rights afforded under Title IX, and provide contact information for Title IX coordinator, as passed by the Senate by a vote of 40-0. It now goes to the Assembly Education Committee.
Bias Training for Arbitrators S-699, which requires members of the panel of arbitrators who hear and decide tenure charge matters to receive training related to cultural diversity and bias. The requirement builds upon a 2019 law that requires such arbitrators to complete training on conduct that is unbecoming of an employee. NJSBA supports the bill, which passed in the Senate by a vote of 39-1, and now heads to the Assembly Community Development and Affairs Committee.