School funding, PARCC testing, and school security were among the topics discussed at NJSBA’s eighth annual Legislative Day, held on Thursday, May 17 at the War Memorial in Trenton.
The program, co-sponsored by the New Jersey School Boards Association and the New Jersey PTA, provides an opportunity for board of education members and parents to hear from and speak with lawmakers about issues that public schools are facing.
The program featured a Legislative Panel, moderated by Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod, NJSBA executive director. Participating in the discussion were Assemblywoman Patricia Egan Jones of Legislative District 5, Assemblyman David Wolfe of Legislative District 10, and NJSBA’s Director of Governmental Relations Michael Vrancik.
In addition, several state legislators, including Senate President Steve Sweeney (District 3) and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (District 19), delivered remarks to the program attendees. Sweeney, in speaking about school funding, emphasized his commitment to providing more state aid to underfunded districts in the 2018-2019 state budget.
Other legislators who participated included Sen. M. Teresa Ruiz, Senate Education Committee chair (District 29); Assemblywoman Verlina Reynolds-Jackson (District 15); Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake (District 34); Assemblyman John Burzichelli (District 3); Sen. Declan O’Scanlon Jr. (District 13); and Assemblywoman Nancy J. Pinkin (District 18).
There was also a panel discussion on advocacy and communicating with legislators, featuring lobbyists from various education associations.
Participating in the second panel were Vrancik; Melanie M. Schulz, director of government relations for New Jersey Association of School Administrators; Debra J. Bradley, Esq., director of government relations for New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association; Ginger Gold Schnitzer, director of government relations for New Jersey Education Association; Betsy Ginsburg, executive director for the Garden State Coalition of Schools; and John Donnadio, executive director of the New Jersey Association of Counties.