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


9-13-16 Education in the News

Star Ledger-- Sweeney moves to cut Christie out of N.J. school aid talks

.TRENTON — After months of promoting dueling plans to revise New Jersey's school funding formula, Senate President Stephen Sweeney could be limiting Gov. Chris Christie's influence over discussions about school aid. 

Sweeney (D-Gloucester) and Sen. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex) on Monday introduced a plan to study school funding without Christie's approval.

Additionally, the plan would not allow the governor to appoint members to the panel charged with suggesting school aid revisions, the lawmakers said. That marks a departure from the Democrats' previous plan, which would have allowed the Republican governor to pick half of the members on the proposed task force. 

Christie's office declined to comment on the Democrats' new plan until it is passed by the Legislature. 

Find out which towns are winners and losers in the governor's proposal to bring property tax relief to 75 of the state's school districts.

New Jersey currently follows a school funding formula passed in 2008 that awards school aid based on a district's wealth and tax base. The formula also gives schools more money for students who historically need extra support, such as students from low-income families. 

Many districts get shortchanged based on the existing funding formula because the state has underfunded K-12 schools by about $1 billion annually in recent years. 


Adam Clark | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com| September 12, 2016 at 3:29 PM, updated September 12, 2016 at 7:13 PM


Star Ledger--Christie, NJEA agree to meet about changes in health care for

TRENTON — In a victory of sorts for the New Jersey Education Association, the teachers union and Gov. Chris Christie's administration agreed to hold an information-only meeting on proposed changes to retiree health care.

The administration took the teachers union to court to compel members who sit on the School Employees' Health Benefits Commission to attend commission meetings. They have boycotted recent meetings to block the administration from forcing a vote to move retirees onto Medicare Advantage.

Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson signed a consent order Monday in which both sides agreed to attend a meeting Thursday "for informational purposes only" at which "the commission shall not conduct or take any vote with regard to any retiree medical plan for (School Employees Health Benefits Plan) current or future retirees or any other substantive matter."

Jacobson suggested at a hearing last week that the legal spat could have been avoided if the state simply presented the Medicare Advantage proposal at one meeting and held the vote at another.


Samantha Marcus | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com|on September 12, 2016 at 6:43 PM, updated September 12, 2016 at 7:13 PM


NJ Spotlight--Senate Committee ‘Green Lights’ Sweeney’s School-Funding Plan

A plan that would circumvent Gov. Chris Christie on future school-aid funding cleared its first hurdle Monday, after the state Senate Education Committee approved a resolution by Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) to create a six-member commission to revise the state education aid formula.

This is the second idea for a commission introduced by Sweeney, and this one bypasses Christie because it is a resolution, rather than full legislation.

Earlier this year, Sweeney floated a plan that called for a four-member commission made up of two appointees by the governor and one each by himself and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson). The idea was that they would have to come up with a solution unanimously before putting it to the full legislature.

Christie nixed the plan. Instead, Christie has been canvassing the state selling the idea of what he calls “fairness funding” a flat $6,599 per student for each school district. Democrats, however, don’t believe Christie’s plan has any chance to move forward.


Chase Brush | September 13, 2016


The Record--Tenafly proposes later high schools start time

TENAFLY – Tenafly district leaders may allow high school students to stay in bed a little longer by moving the school start time to as late as 8:30 a.m..

 “Our academics are known for their rigor,” said Tenafly High School principal James Morrison. “We want to make it less stressful.”

This comes following a plethora of studies demonstrating that later start times benefit teens, whose biology makes it difficult for them to fall asleep early and wake up before 8 a.m. Many experts blame a lack of adequate sleep on poor academic performance among teens and a host of other problems including depression, drug use and alcoholism.

Many of the 70 schools around the country that have implemented later start times say the results have been positive, with more students arriving to school on time and prepared for learning. Now Tenafly leaders want to give it a shot.

The Board of Education, which has been researching the change for a year-and-a-half, will discuss the proposal at a public hearing on Sept. 27 and vote on it in October. The initiative, if approved, would start in 2017.




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