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


1-10-17 Education in the News

NJ Spotlight--NJ Seeks Help from Bankers to Bring Down Public-Worker Pension Costs

Spokesman says Treasury hopes for ‘new and innovative ideas’ for what is now the worst-funded system in the U.S.

New Jersey is already one of the nation’s most indebted states, and its public-employee pension system, according to one recent estimate, is now the worst-funded state-retirement plan in the country. But the state is also facing even more fiscal trouble thanks in part to nearly $3 billion in pension bonds that were issued two decades ago.

Annual debt payments tied to a bond issue that was called the “Pension Security Plan” in 1997 are continuing to ramp up and will reach $500 million in the next few years. The state’s annual pension contribution is also set to increase by nearly $600 million when Gov. Chris Christie introduces a new state budget next month.


John Reitmeyer | January 10, 2017



Star Ledger--School groups to Christie: Don't raise salary cap, eliminate it

TRENTON -- Rather than raising the maximum salary for New Jersey school superintendents, Gov. Chris Christie should abandon the "unnecessary" and "overly rigid" salary cap altogether, the associations representing local school boards and school principals said Monday. 

In public testimony in Trenton, both the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) and New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association (NJPSA) called for an end to the cap, which Christie imposed in 2011. The governor last year announced plans to raise the maximum salary for superintendents from $175,000 to $191,500

"New Jersey's policy direction should be focused on attracting and retaining our top-notch educators to the profession," said Jennifer Keyes Maloney, assistant director of government relations for the NJPSA. "Unfortunately, current policy does not."



Adam Clark | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com| January 10, 2017 at 7:00 AM, updated January 10, 2017 at 7:04 AM



Star Ledger--N.J. mall to open alternative school for at-risk students

ELIZABETH -- Owners of the Mills at Jersey Gardens mall plan to open a alternative school for at-risk students in a partnership with Union County, officials announced Sunday.

Union County Freeholder Bruce Bergen, left, with his wife, Jodi, as Bergen is sworn-in as chairman of the freeholder board. (Union County photo) Tom Haydon | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com 

The Simon Property Group currently has 29 schools in 12 other states, but this would be the first in New Jersey, said Union County Freeholder Chairman Bruce Bergen.

"We are proud to be hosting their first program here in the tri-state area," Bergen said.

The alternative school is expected to have about 20 students when it opens later this year.

Services for the school will be provided by the Union County Vocational-Technical Schools, the county Workforce Development Board, and the New Jersey Department of Labor.

Tom Haydon | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com| January 09, 2017 at 12:47 PM



The Record--Will combative or compassionate Christie show for key speech Tuesday?

Even amid legislative setbacks, plummeting popularity and a self-imposed blackout on the state press, Gov. Chris Christie has promised to do “big things” in his final year and exit the State House “loudly.” But Christie has also shown much more of his softer side in recent public appearances, not just the bombast that made him famous.

All of which makes it anyone’s guess as to which Chris Christie will show up to deliver the State of the State address Tuesday – the sharp-tongued executive on his last stand or the bipartisan “true heart,” the Secret Service code name he has said he would have chosen had he won the presidency. Or both.

“He’s an interesting guy. It may depend on how he’s feeling that morning. He could go either way, and he has gone either way,” said former Republican Gov. Tom Kean.

No matter what, Christie plans to take the rostrum of the Assembly chambers Tuesday afternoon to lay out his vision for the state one last time. Besides presenting his budget next month, Christie is unlikely to give another major speech to lawmakers outlining his priorities for the year ahead.

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