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


9-6-16 Education in the News

NJ Spotlight--Final Year of Christie Administration Could See Big Education Battles

School funding and state controls for Newark and other cities, PARCC graduation requirements and superintendent caps — It could be a bumpy ride

Over the course of Gov. Christie’s administration, each year in New Jersey education policy and political intrigue seems to surpass the last.

There were the deep cuts in state aid in his first year, only to be followed by the Race to the Top drama, a new teacher tenure law, charter school wars, and most recently, PARCC testing.

Now entering Christie’s last year in office, the 2016-2017 school year is sure to be no exception, with the governor looking to cement his legacy, especially when it comes to core issues like funding and charters, while schools themselves grapple with their own challenges.

But education will have stiff competition for campaign attention in the coming year, as the state’s fiscal crunch shows no signs of letting up and problems with public-employee benefits and The Transportation Trust Fund continue unabated.


John Mooney | September 6, 2016


Star Ledger--Here's how millennials are keeping N.J. school enrollment flat

 Millennials: the subjects of countless think pieces about how the generation is leaving its mark on everything from politics to real estate to workplace culture.

Now, their footprint is becoming visible in New Jersey's public schools, where experts say their tendency to delay marriage and parenthood is having a measurable impact on school enrollment.

For three years in a row, the number of students in New Jersey's public schools has declined slightly and begun to level off — a pattern James Hughes, dean of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, attributes to millennials' choices.

Many of these young adults — roughly defined as those born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s — have prolonged starting families because of unstable financial situations, Hughes said.

"They may have college debts to pay off," he said. "(Maybe) their career got a late start because of the great recession and the aftershocks of the great recession. They may not have a good credit rating to get into the home purchase market."


By Marisa Iati and Carla Astudillo | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com| on September 06, 2016 at 7:30 AM, updated September 06, 2016 at 7:34 AM


Star Ledger-- N.J. education commissioner Hespe calls it quits

TRENTON — State Education Commissioner David Hespe announced his resignation Friday morning after 30 months on the job.

Kimberley Harrington, the assistant commissioner and chief academic officer, will become acting education commissioner at the end of September, according to a statement released by Gov. Chris Christie's office. She will become the fifth education commissioner in seven years.

"For over two years, David Hespe has been working for the betterment of New Jersey's students, educators and schools," said Christie, who praised him for expanding opportunities in urban districts, improving the professional support for teachers and slashing red tape.

It was not immediately clear what Hespe's next job would be, although Christie's office said Hespe "will begin exploring new career opportunities in teaching and learning."


Claude Brodesser-Akner | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com| September 02, 2016 at 12:27 PM, updated September 02, 2016 at 1:43 PM



Philadelphia Inquirer--Camden schools make house calls to students on verge of dropping out

.For 13 Camden kids, help with school and family life arrived in an unexpected place last fall: at home, during visits with district administrators and even the superintendent.

The visits were part of a pilot program aimed at treating the root causes of problems that interfere in the lives of Camden's students and prevent them from succeeding.

Spending time with the struggling students, school officials encountered more easily solvable problems, such as a student who could not get to school safely, to complicated issues such as a child who needed to move to a safer home.

A year later, some of the students' lives have improved in modest ways, said Superintendent Paymon Rouhanifard, and this year the program will expand to 200 kids. The district is seeking private and federal funding to pay for training and management - costs that could reach $3 million over the next three years.

Rouhanifard said it may take years before officials can measure success, but he believes the results will be significant.

"We're playing the long game," Rouhanifard said last week. "This is as complex as our work gets."

Rouhanifard, appointed in 2013 by Gov. Christie to lead the state-run, 16,000-student school district, said that after moving to Camden, he sought out local experts to help him learn about the long-term trauma that can result in children who are raised amid poverty and chaos.

He and members of his administration spent time with the Rev. Jeff Putthoff, founder of Hopeworks, a nonprofit group that for a decade has provided trauma-informed care to young people.

They met with physician Jeffrey C. Brenner, director of Cooper University Hospital's Institute of Urban Health and founder of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, who has studied how health-care costs can be reduced by treating emergency room "super-utilizer" patients in their homes.

And they drew from a 20-year study finding that disadvantaged children benefited from even small amounts of regular socialization.


Allison Steele, Staff Writer| Updated: September 6, 2016 — 3:01 AM EDT


Press of Atlantic City--Newark schools reopen, not water fountains, after lead scare

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Schools are reopening in New Jersey's largest school district, but water fountains remain offline after last spring's lead scare.

Officials say bottled water will be distributed for the next month at Newark's 30 schools. The district expects to reopen water fountains by October.

In March, Newark revealed that half its aging school buildings contained lead-tainted water.

Recent results from about 300 drinking water outlets throughout the district showed the water was safe in the majority of drinking water outlets.


AP| September 6, 2016

Garden State Coalition of Schools
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