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Garden State Coalition of Schools
Elisabeth Ginsburg, Executive Director
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Trenton, New Jersey 08608

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The Buzz

6-22-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Fine Print: School-funding changes easily pass Senate and Assembly But how long will they survive in budget battle with Murphy?...'

NJ Spotlight--Push Comes to Shove: Legislature Sends Its 2019 Spending Bill to Murphy High rhetoric and low expectations as budget deal goes south. Next up: governor’s veto and government shutdown?...'

Star Ledger--How would N.J. school funding revamp affect your school district? Senate President Stephen Sweeney is making a big push for school funding reform to fix a formula that he says is way out of whack. Language added to the funding formula that was intended to be temporary has led to some districts getting much more than they’re owed while other districts receive much less...'

NY Times--A.P. World History Tries to Trim Thousands of Years, and Educators Revolt No Roman Empire. No Mongols. No ancient Chinese dynasties or early Indian states. And you can forget about the Incan and Aztec empires before the Europeans dropped their anchors...'

Education Week--Video Games? Media? Bullying? No Single Cause for School Shootings, Experts Tell Safety Commission...'

NPR-- Making Schools Safer: Harsh Consequences, Or Second Chances? "For the last 14 years I had been a stay at home mom and a soccer mom of three kids," says Lori Alhadeff. "On Valentine's Day my daughter was brutally shot down and murdered and I became a school safety activist."...'

6-21-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--For Murphy, Changes to Funding Formula Depend on Revenues to Fund Them Governor calls revised school-funding scheme a ‘nice-looking half a loaf,’ but suggests everything depends on lawmakers giving him the revenue he’s asked for...'

Star Ledger--These big Jersey bills that could affect your life up for grabs Thursday in last-minute scramble It’s June in Trenton, and that means two things: New Jersey lawmakers will fight over the state budget. And they’ll cram lots of legislation into their just-before-summer voting sessions. This year is no exception. Thursday’s list is filled with bills big and small, including a few controversial measures that lawmakers would like to fly under the radar amid all the action...'

Star Ledger--N.J. school funding fix held up in state budget battle between Murphy and Democratic leaders

Stuck in an impasse with lawmakers over New Jersey's state budget, Gov. Phil Murphy is playing hardball with school funding reform...'

Education Week--Trump Team Mulls Merger of Education, Labor Departments, Multiple Sources Say The Trump administration is considering a merger of the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Labor, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the proposal...'

6-20-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--In Open Challenge to Murphy, Dem Lawmakers Move Their Own Spending Bill Senate and Assembly budget panels vote out 2019 budget bill, risking governor’s veto and state shutdown at end of month State lawmakers defiantly moved their own spending bill out of legislative committees yesterday despite Gov. Phil Murphy’s promise that he will veto their budget over concerns about an increased corporate tax and other revenue measures that he considers unacceptable...'

NJ Spotlight--School-Funding Bill Clears Committee, Breaking One Logjam With Murphy Proponents claim $9 billion measure puts state on road to full funding within seven years...'

NJ Spotlight--After Paramus Tragedy, Making School Buses Safer, Drivers More Accountable Lawmakers offer legislation to upgrade seat belts, strengthen training and regulation of drivers, and add to safety of special-needs students...'

Star Leger--New N.J. tolls roads? Public worker benefit cuts? Forcing towns to merge? It's all being discussed. New Jersey public workers could see cuts to their health care and pensions, motorists could travel on more toll roads and towns could be forced to consolidate if lawmakers embrace recommendations being considered by a high-powered group formed by the state's most powerful legislator...'

Asbury Park Press--NJ budget battle could cost Jersey Shore schools millions Millions of dollars in state aid to Ocean and Monmouth county schools hang in the balance as Gov. Phil Murphy and Senate President Stephen Sweeney lock horns over the state budget...'

6-19-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Trenton Starts to Sizzle, Governor Duels with Leading Dems Over Budget Amid competing press conferences, clashing news releases, and governor’s threat to veto Legislature’s appropriations bill, possibility of government shutdown increases The tension between Gov. Phil Murphy and Democratic legislative leaders ramped up to a new level yesterday, with dueling press conferences, crisscrossing news releases, and talk of a government shutdown...'

The Record--Paramus school bus crash: Lawmakers discuss age limit, better supervision of drivers TRENTON — In the wake of last month's deadly school bus crash, state lawmakers Monday raised the issue of age limits for school bus drivers and seemed confused by how two different state agencies determine driver eligibility based on their criminal records and medical history...'

6-18-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Appropriations Bill from Democratic Lawmakers, First Salvo in Budget Battle Despite overall accord, legislators and governor still have issues to hash out, especially when it comes to funding public-employee pensions, K-12 education, and mass transit State lawmakers continue to disagree with Gov. Phil Murphy on how to pay for the significant new spending they want to see in the state’s next budget, but they’ve decided to use this week to advance their own appropriations bill...'

Star Ledger-- High-stakes N.J. fight over how your schools are funded shifts into high gear Monday State lawmakers on Monday will begin to vote on a controversial and high-stakes proposal that will over a period of seven years bring fairness to a school funding formula that has created winners and losers, its Democratic sponsor says...'

Education Week--To Stem Likely Membership Losses, Teachers' Unions Play Offense When teachers are first hired, they have paperwork to fill out and meetings to attend. This fall, new hires in a growing number of states can add another to-do to their lists: meet with a teachers’ union representative...'

6-15-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Burlington County Leads with $20M Initiative for Greater School Security Board of Freeholders dedicates half the capital budget to beef up safety at 21 public high schools Burlington County is launching an innovative grant program to fund school security that’s unlike any other in the state...'

NJ Spotlight--Fine Print: Ruiz-Madden Bill Package Protect Students from Sexual Abuse Hidden video catches union leaders saying they’d protect teachers What it is: State Sens. Teresa Ruiz and Fred Madden, chairs of the Senate’s education and labor committees, respectively, have proposed a set of six bills that would place new requirements on schools and the state to train, monitor, and enforce student protections against sexual abuse, including by teachers and staff. The bills were taken up by the Senate education committee yesterday...'

NJ Spotlight--Op-Ed: State’s New Law on Absenteeism — Only the Beginning Schools that succeed in reducing absenteeism go beyond just complying with state and district rules to encourage and support attendance as a fundamental part of their mission to educate...'

Press of Atlantic City--Schools one part of complicated response to teen suicide, experts say Who can help teens suffering from mental health issues and contemplating suicide? Anyone, including their friends, experts say...'

Education Week--Advocates Worried About Special Ed. Testing Waivers Under ESSA U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has allowed nearly half of states to get wiggle room from a provision in the Every Student Succeeds Act aimed at making sure that only a small percentage of students are taking alternative tests reserved for children with the most significant cognitive disabilities...'

6-14-18 Education in the News
The Record--On key votes, school boards bypass conflicts of interest. Is this in the public interest? WAYNE — Four of the Wayne Board of Education’s nine members have accepted donations from the local teachers’ union. They still voted to ratify the teachers’ union contract and approve raises, thanks to a practice that allows school boards to legally bypass conflicts of interest...'

The Atlantic--The Controversy Over Just How Much History AP World History Should Cover The College Board recently announced that it will no longer test students on the thousands of years that predated European colonialism...'

Education Week--How (and Why) Ed-Tech Companies Are Tracking Students' Feelings A push to use new technology to understand the 'whole child' is sparking privacy fears All school year, Kaylee Carrell has been watching online math videos using a free software platform called Algebra Nation. What the Florida 8th grader didn’t know: The software was also watching her...'

6-13-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Small New Jersey Town Takes On School-Funding Fight The comfortable community of Chesterfield sits squarely at the center of the battle over how New Jersey funds public education Chesterfield isn't what comes to mind when politicians talk about schoolchildren harmed by the state's failure to provide adequate education funding...'

Star Ledger--Can't pay to make your school safer? We'll pick up the $20M tab, county tells its districts Burlington County is allocating $20 million of its capital budget this year to fund school security building upgrades in 21 public high schools in the county...'

Star Ledger--The perfect suburban school is living a financial nightmare. Here's who is to blame Take a walk down Thorn Lane, past the new houses with swimming pools and three-car garages, and you would think you had arrived at the picture-perfect neighborhood elementary school...'

After Paramus bus crash, parents ask: Are school field trips safe, necessary? In the wake of the Paramus middle school bus accident, parents are asking more questions and taking a closer look at safety protocols surrounding field trips...'

NY Times--Where Boys Outperform Girls in Math: Rich, White and Suburban Districts In much of the country, the stereotype that boys do better than girls at math isn’t true – on average, they perform about the same, at least through eighth grade. But there’s a notable exception...'

Education Week--After-School Programs Enter Career-Tech Space Portland programs offer taste of building trades Before Audrey Collins joined an after-school career-mentoring program in Oregon, she wasn't sure what career she'd pursue after high school...'

6-12-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--More Scrutiny of Deals that Municipalities Make with Developers? State lawmakers want increased regulation of local tax agreements that can adversely affect funding for school districts As lawmakers consider increasing the amount of aid the state gives to K-12 school districts this year, they’re also advancing legislation that would bring more scrutiny to special tax agreements between local officials and developers that can also influence the bottom line for school districts...'

NJ Spotlight--Opinion: The New Jersey Budget Strategy Must Be Better Either we move the budget discussion to a multiyear approach or we will fail to address our tax and spending issues and be right back at it again next year with no permanent solutions...'

NJ Spotlight--Phil Murphy may not like this possible counter-offer to his tax and budget plans A framework for a possible legislative counterproposal to Gov. Phil Murphy's state budget obtained by NJ Advance Media shows just how far apart New Jersey's top elected officials are with just 19 days to the deadline for a spending plan...'

Education Week--Educators Scramble for Texts to Match Science Standards The Clark County, Nev., school district has worked hard for several years to get lessons aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards into teachers' hands. As a result, the district's director of K-12 science, Sheryl Colgan, does not mince words when asked what her teachers thought of a batch of newly published, purportedly aligned high school textbooks...'

Education Week--What's in ESSA's Big Flexible-Spending Pot The Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants—better known as Title IV of the Every Student Succeeds Act—is one of the most flexible federal programs around. And it just got a huge increase, from $400 million in the 2017-18 school year to $1.1 billion for the 2018-19 school year...'

6-11-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Despite High-Profile Deaths, State Figures Show Decline in Suicides Four in 10 deaths nationwide were attributed, at least in part, to relationship problems, while nearly two out of three involved trouble with drug or alcohol abuse, or a recent crisis...'

Star Ledger--School taxes are hammering people in these N.J. towns. See how yours stacks up Some homeowners in New Jersey pay more than 1 out of every 10 dollars they earn annually in their paychecks to their local school system, an NJ Advance Media Analysis finds, but the burden of education spending is not evenly distributed across the state — also also not what you might expect...'

Star Ledger--Most N.J. school districts are getting screwed by the state - is yours one of them? If you live in New Jersey, there's a good chance your school district is getting cheated. The state has a formula that says exactly much money it should give each district so kids get the education they deserve...'

Star Ledger--These N.J. school districts are hemorrhaging students and it could spell big trouble New Jersey public schools have far fewer students coming into the system than in years past, a trend that, should it continue, could threaten the viability of some rural districts as enrollment plunges...'

Education Week-- Equity in K-12 Funding More Complex Than Just Dollars Simple parity in K-12 aid isn't enough; how it's distributed proves crucial Can more money make up for the effects of poverty in schools?...'

6-8-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Closer to Compromise: Can Sweeney and Murphy Reach Closure on School Funding? Both camps are reporting progress, without releasing any details, with the Senate president suggesting the sides may be ‘close’ With New Jersey’s state budget — and a potential government shutdown — hanging in the balance, the Democrats’ ongoing negotiations over school funding look more and more to be about which districts will see increases and which will see cuts...'

NJ Spotlight--Six Months into Murphy’s Term, Senate Confirms Six Cabinet Members One reason process lasted as long as it did: disagreements over school funding between Sweeney and Repollet, new commissioner of education Halfway through Gov. Phil Murphy’s first year, the Senate yesterday confirmed six key members of his Cabinet, ending an unusually drawn-out confirmation process punctuated by a dispute between the governor and Senate President Steve Sweeney...'

Education Week--States Squeezed by Fiscal, Political Pressures on Funding No matter how much they need, schools can only spend what they have—and that finite pot of money depends on broader economic and political factors largely beyond their control...'

NPR--Federal School Safety Commission Holds First Public Session. DeVos Wasn't There The Trump administration's school safety commission held its first public listening session Wednesday, a day after the panel's chair, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, told lawmakers on Capitol Hill that the commission wouldn't focus on guns...'

6-7-18 Education in the News
Asbury Park Press--Should school dress codes mandate modesty? What messages are students hearing when we talk about dress codes? Should we be telling girls what to wear to school? Is it time to ditch dress codes? Each year warm weather brings discipline and scolding to students who wear newly purchased tank tops, short shorts and other skin-exposing clothing to school...'

Washington Post--With The Rise Of Legal Weed, Drug Education Moves From ‘Don’t’ to ‘Delay’ California legalized marijuana in 2016, and this past New Year’s Eve eager customers lined up in the darkness outside medical marijuana dispensaries across the state, ready to start shopping at the stroke of midnight. The effect has gone beyond the cannabis cash register. Everyone has seen the ads or heard the chatter — and that includes minors, though marijuana remains illegal for those under 21...'

Education Week--26 States Earn 'F' Grade on School Spending in Education Week Analysis Equity and effort often mismatched At a time when money is front and center as an education issue—fueling a recent wave of teacher strikes and legislative wrangling over resources—Education Week's latest school finance analysis illustrates why the nation earns a mediocre mark on school funding and how fairly that money is divvied up within states...'

Education Week--Back Mental-Health Support, Don't Arm Teachers, School-Safety Panel Told Don't arm teachers. Monitor students on social media. Give schools more mental health resources. Hire more school resource officers—or not. Keep Obama-era guidance aimed curbing discipline disparities between minority students and their peers. Ban assault weapons...'

6-6-18 Education in the News
New York Times--In the Age of Trump, Civics Courses Make a Comeback MAMARONECK, N.Y. — It’s just after 7 on a Thursday morning and Mamaroneck High School is empty — except for about 30 freshmen who are already seated in their classroom, laptops in front of them. They are finishing the first year of a new initiative: a four-year program called Original Civic Research and Action, which requires them to immerse themselves in the workings of their town of Mamaroneck — just north of New York City — and find a useful solution to an ongoing problem...'

Education Week--Ready for a Shooter? 1 in 5 School Police Say No One in five school police officers say their school is not prepared to handle an active-shooter situation, according to a nationally representative survey of school resource officers conducted by the Education Week Research Center...'

Education Week--Guns Aren't a Focus of Federal School Safety Panel, Betsy DeVos Tells Senators Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos told senators in a Tuesday hearing on Capitol Hill that the federal school safety commission she leads won't examine the role of guns in school violence, despite a prior White House statement that the commission's work will include examining age restrictions on certain firearms purchases...'

6-5-18 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Governor, Democratic Leaders Tiptoe Toward Accord on School Aid But with weeks to go before state budget must be enacted, other impediments need to be negotiated Despite the implementation of spending and hiring freezes and plans for a government shutdown, Gov. Phil Murphy and legislative leaders appear to be nearing agreement on an update of New Jersey’s school-aid law, which is a key sticking point in this year’s budget negotiations...'

Education Week--Teens Are Cyberbullying Themselves. Why? Hannah Smith was a 14-year-old living in Lutterworth, England, when she began receiving hateful messages on the social-networking site Ask.fm. A few weeks later, she committed suicide...'

Education Week--Retooled Courses Help Students Avoid a Remedial-Math Roadblock to College Students escape the remediation trap via courses on math reasoning and statistics Math is a notorious stumbling block that trips up students seeking college degrees. Every year, tens of thousands of young people fail to graduate because they can't earn enough math credits...'

6-4-18 Education in the News
Jersey Journal--Jersey City would be biggest loser under Sweeney school funding plan New Jersey Sen. President Stephen Sweeney's newest school-funding bill would lead to the loss of over $150 million in state aid over the next five years for Jersey City's public schools...'

NJ Spotlight--Opinion: Note to Governor: Take the Hint, and the Revised Revenue Estimates Sweeney and Coughlin & Co. have put Murphy in a bind: Go with their revised numbers or risk further alienating Democratic lawmakers In the normal interactions between a governor and the Legislature, there comes a time when hints become declarations, statements of nonnegotiable intentions to pursue goals and determinations and not be deterred by contrary points of view...'

NJ Spotlight--Lawmakers Wrestle with Troubling Topic: Sexual Abuse at School Joint session responds to videotape of union leaders dismissing claims of teacher misconduct, but struggles to determine what’s missing from current regulations It was an unusual hearing by nearly all accounts, a hastily called joint session of two state Senate committees to hear startling accusations that too many of the state’s educators — and their unions — might look the other way on child sexual abuse within their own ranks...'

Star Ledger--Is N.J. really headed for another government shutdown? Here's a look at the drama unfolding You might not be able to pinpoint the exact moment in recent months when a second straight state government shutdown in New Jersey became a possibility. But there’s no question Friday is the day it went from maybe to menacing...'

NY Times--The Numbers That Explain Why Teachers Are in Revolt After a quarter century of steady growth on education spending, a shock to the system. American teachers are angry. They have taken to the streets in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Arizona, Colorado — and more recently in North Carolina. Dissent is building in Louisiana and Nevada,too...'

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The Special Education Task Force Report was released  in November 2015. GSCS, a Task Force member,  looks forward to discussion on this important topic under the Murphy administration.  See below for a link to the report.

Final Report of NJ Task Force on Improving Special Education for Public School Students


Garden State Coalition of Schools
160 W. State Street, Trenton New Jersey 08608