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Email: gscschools@gmail.com
Phone: 609-394-2828 (office)
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Garden State Coalition of Schools
Elisabeth Ginsburg, Executive Director
160 West State Street
Trenton, New Jersey 08608


10-3-16 Education in the News

Star Ledger--N.J. advances 4 new charter schools, denies Montclair plan

TRENTON — The Christie administration on Friday advanced four charter school applications to the final round of state review but denied a proposal in Montclair that had stirred strong resistance in the community. 

The following four schools were cleared to open as long as they pass a final review next year:

  • College Achieve Greater Asbury Park Charter School (Asbury Park, Neptune Township
  • College Achieve Paterson Charter School (Paterson)
  • Ocean Academy Charter School (Lakewood)
  • Ailanthus Charter School (Franklin Township, New Brunswick)

All of the schools, except Ailanthus Charter School, plan to open in the fall of 2017. Ailanthus plans to open in 2018. 

The approvals on Friday give the groups permission to move forward with their schools, though they must still pass a final review of their financial and academic plans. 

Meanwhile, the state Department of Education rejected three other proposals, including a proposed French immersion charter school in Montclair. School district officials and parents in Montclair had campaigned against the charter school, saying it isn't needed in a district with a reputation for good schools. 


Adam Clark | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com| September 30, 2016 at 4:59 PM


Star Ledger--Christie claims Dems want to delay school reform plans until after he leaves office

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Taking a shot at likely 2017 governor candidate Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester), Gov. Chris Christie on Friday claimed again that Democrats want to delay reexamining how the state apportions education funding until afterhe leaves office.

Speaking at a firehouse to promote his "Fairness Formula" education funding plan, the governor said that Democrats' called-for commission on state aid would only issue it's report after the expiration of his term in office in January 2018.

"If you were running for governor, you wouldn't want it to report back a minute earlier," said Christie, to laughter from the 150 residents who'd gathered inside the firehouse.

The proposed School Aid Funding Fairness Commission has until Feb. 1, 2017 to deliver its report, not one year as the governor claimed. That would give the governor nearly a year to accept or reject its recommendations.


Claude Brodesser-Akner | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com| September 30, 2016 at 4:27 PM



Star Ledger--Schools, police say killer clown threats on social media aren't legit

A threat on social media of clowns planning to kill teachers and kidnap students has spread like wildfire on the Internet, leading school districts and local law enforcement in New Jersey — and nationwide — to tell parents and students to calm down.

Rumors of schools throughout South Jersey being on lockdown because of clown sightings were unfounded, according to officials.

Still, there was a bit of a panic in numerous districts Friday morning — including Deptford, Glassboro, Clearview, Kingsway, West Deptford, Vineland and Toms River — when a social media post began circulating, prompting calls to the districts and rumors to spread on Facebook.

The chaos is being traced back to a Facebook message posted by an account called Aint Clownin Around that read "we will be at all High schools this friday to either kidnapp students or kill teachers going to they cars." The post, which has since been taken down, didn't specify a school and was shared throughout the country, causing alarm. 

What started out weeks ago as creepy clown sightings in South Carolina and people in costumes in the woods watching children, has spread to states including North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.


Caitlyn Stulpin | For NJ.com| September 30, 2016 at 4:05 PM, updated September 30, 2016 at 4:58 PM


NY Times--The Unintended Consequences of Taking a Hard Line on School Discipline

Over the last 30 years, schools across the country have enacted tough disciplinary policies. Did they go too far?

It did not take long for school safety agents in New York to find their first gun of the new school year. Day 1 had barely begun at a Brooklyn high school last month when the officers stopped a 15-year-old student who had stowed a loaded .22-caliber pistol in his backpack and thought he could pass it through a metal scanner.

In short order, the boy was led away by the police. Also in short order, the city’s Department of Education issued a statement invoking a two-word phrase that has virtually been holy writ in classrooms around the country for the past quarter of a century: “There is zero tolerance for weapons of any kind in schools.”

It is hard to imagine many law-abiding citizens disagreeing that the acceptance level for students carrying guns, knives, drugs or other harmful items should be nonexistent. But the concept of zero tolerance has come to encompass such a broad range of disruptive actions that roughly three million schoolchildren are suspended each year, and several hundred thousand are arrested or given criminal citations. Many students are hauled off to police station houses for antisocial behavior that, a generation or two ago, would have sent them no farther than the principal’s office.

Have get-tough policies gone too far? Predictably, opinions are divided. Nonetheless, as the accompanying video shows, the pendulum in some jurisdictions is swinging away from hard-nosed book-’em certitudes toward softer let’s-try-to-reason-with-’em approaches.  

Click here for article.



Education Week--Significant Education Cases on Supreme Court Docket

2016-17 Term May Prove Consequential for K-12

The U.S. Supreme Court opened its new term Oct. 3 still feeling the effects of the February death of Justice Antonin Scalia. With the nomination of Merrick B. Garland stuck in political limbo, the eight members of the court have adopted a cautious approach to their docket for the new term, many legal experts say.

But for K-12 education, the new term may be the most significant in years. For example, the justices have agreed to hear two cases involving students with disabilities and another that could be significant for government aid to religion, include private religious schools.

And the court could soon add to its docket a case that would plunge the justices into the national debate over the rights of transgender students.


By Mark Walsh|September 30, 2016

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