At its November meeting, the New Jersey State Board of Education discussed and acted on the following items:
- Resolution in recognition of Parent Teacher Association Membership Month in New Jersey: The State Board passed a resolution recognizing November as NJPTA month. It also noted that the NJPTA has existed for over 120 years and currently has over 10,000 members.
- Educator preparation and certification regulations: The State Board approved for publication in the New Jersey Register a proposal on updating the regulations concerning educator preparation and certification. The amendments proposed at N.J.A.C. 6A:9 and at N.J.A.C. 6A:9A, 6A:9B, and 6A:9C in separate, simultaneous rulemakings are intended to provide options to certain candidates for an instructional certificate. The proposed amendments also would implement recently enacted state laws that created new endorsements for instructional certificates or altered the requirements for existing endorsements.
- Bilingual education: The State Board discussed updates to its regulations concerning bilingual education. All school districts are required to provide students who are identified as multilingual learners with the services they need to meet or exceed the New Jersey Student Learning Standards. These regulations describe the school district’s specific obligations to support multilingual learners. The chapter’s general provisions include definitions of terms related to bilingual education, the process for identifying students who may be multilingual learners, placement of multilingual learners in language instruction educational programs and the process for exiting a student from a LIEP and multilingual identification status. The chapter also includes connections to other chapters in Title 6A of the New Jersey Administrative Code, which apply to all students. N.J.A.C. 6A:15 provides requirements for school districts to engage families, including notification of their children’s identification and placement into a LIEP, as well as the opportunity to be a part of the parent advisory committee. The proposed amendments will also ensure clarity in how bilingual education requirements intersect with general school district requirements related to inclusion, curriculum, equity, standards, and educator certification by connecting N.J.A.C. 6A:15 with other chapters in Title 6A of the New Jersey Administrative Code (namely N.J.A.C. 6A:7, Managing for Equality and Equity in Education, N.J.A.C. 6A:8, Standards and Assessment, and N.J.A.C. 6A:9B, State Board of Examiners and Certification). These connections will help school districts better understand how the services and programs they provide multilingual learners are aligned to the systems that school districts already have in place for all students.