In his State of the State speech Tuesday, Gov. Phil Murphy focused on shielding the middle class from tax increases, using education to generate jobs and economic growth, and working “to be the first state to incorporate climate change education across our K-12 education standards.”

Murphy renewed his call for a “millionaires tax” to fund programs.

He said he would visit the East Brunswick campus of Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools on Jan. 15 to highlight a new program he is calling “Jobs NJ.” The goal of “Jobs NJ,” he said in his prepared remarks, is to “better align our education system to meet the future needs of both employers and workers, and do better at matching our workers with potential employers.”

A 2018 NJSBA task force report called for efforts to ascertain the skills required to meet the needs of business and industry in order to improve educational opportunities for the career-focused learner. The report, “Educational Opportunities for the Non-College Bound Learner,” can be found here.

The governor’s speech made the following points concerning education:

  • Schools Number One. The governor cited the Education Week ranking, listing New Jersey’s public schools as “the very best in the entire country.”
  • Pre-K Expansion. He said the state had “expanded pre-K and made STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education more widely available.”
  • Arts Education. “We’ve become the first state in the history of our nation to make arts education available to every single child in our public schools.”
  • Formula Funding. “We’ve restored more than $500 million in formula-based aid to our public schools – and every new dollar in state aid is a dollar that isn’t shouldered by property taxpayers.”
  • Anti-Slavery and Holocaust Education. “…(W)e’re committed to further the work of the Amistad Commission…to ensure that the African American story is made real not just for all our students, but for our educators through the new Amistad Journey program. … Likewise, with the rise of anti-Semitism, we renew our commitment to the mission of the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education, as well.”

Read a summary of the speech here.  The entire speech, as prepared for delivery, is here.