The New Jersey State Board of Education met for its monthly meeting May 4. It heard updates and acted on the following items:
- The State Board discussed its proposed schedule of meetings for the 2022-2023 school year.
- The commissioner of education addressed the recent controversy concerning the Comprehensive Health and Physical Education standards of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards. The commissioner highlighted that parents retain the right to excuse their children from those portions of health, family life, or sex education that conflict with their moral beliefs. Additionally, the commissioner pointed out that health and sex education must build over time, equipping students to understand themselves and the world around them. The commissioner also recognized the responsibility of every local board of education to select and implement standards-aligned materials that advance their values, and the right of every parent to opt out of certain instruction as outlined in the law. The commissioner also addressed the recent laws requiring boards of education to include instruction on the political, economic and social contributions of persons with disabilities and LGBTQ persons in an appropriate place in middle and high school curriculum, as well as the law requiring school districts to incorporate instruction on diversity and inclusion in an appropriate place in the K-12 curriculum.
- Teacher Appreciation Week: The commissioner recognized teachers and all of their hard work, particularly during the pandemic. The commissioner also encouraged everyone to reach out to teachers to let them know how much they are appreciated.
- National Physical Education and Sport Week: The State Board recognized the week of May 1-7, 2022, as National Physical Education and Sport Week and recognized May as National Physical Education Fitness and Sport Month and the central role of physical education and sports in creating a healthy lifestyle for all children in New Jersey.
- Religious holidays: The State Board approved a resolution concerning the list of religious holidays for which local districts may grant excused absences to students. Boards of education, at their discretion, may add other days to the list for the schools of their districts.