|1-16-17 Education in the News|
Jersey Journal--New law earmarks funds for school districts to pay for security improvements
Schools in New Jersey may be getting safer.
Legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Angela McKnight, D-Jersey City, that designates funding to increase the security of schools has been signed into law.
The new law (A-2158) authorizes the use of emergency reserve funds or proceeds from bonds issued by the state Economic Development Authority to finance school security improvements, such as security cameras and an automatic door locking system for access control.
Previously, a district could only withdraw money from its emergency reserve fund to pay for unanticipated general fund expense costs.
Ron Zeitlinger | The Jersey Journal| January 14, 2017 at 7:00 AM, updated January 14, 2017 at 7:05 AM
The Record--Showdown looming over school funding formula
In the meantime, they announced separate, uncoordinated Senate and Assembly hearings to collect testimony that would form the basis for legislation to fix the current system, which is widely acknowledged to give unequal treatment to students and taxpayers in different parts of the state. Assembly hearings begin Wednesday; Senate hearings begin Jan. 27.
The cost of public education accounts for the largest portion of property tax bills and roughly a third of the state budget.
As the Democrats bicker, time is running out before Gov. Chris Christie holds his annual budget address on Feb. 28. Barring a compromise solution, the governor could try to implement a plan he has been touting around the state to give districts a flat sum of $6,599 per student, no matter where the student lives or the area's income level.
Christie's plan is anathema to Democrats and would likely face a legal challenge if implemented. But the ensuing confrontation between Christie and the Legislature could be messy and could throw local school districts into turmoil as they try to write their annual budgets without certainty over how much funding they would get from the state.
Nicholas Pugliese , State House Bureau, Published 6:42 p.m. ET Jan. 13, 2017 | Updated 2:59 a.m. ET Jan. 14, 2017
Education Week--ESSA Plans: Seventeen States Plus D.C. Shooting for Early-Bird Deadline
Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have told the U.S. Department of Education that they are aiming to file their plans for implementing the Every Student Succeeds Suceeds Act by early April, in time for the first deadline set by the Obama administration.
Those states are Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, and Vermont, plus the District of Columbia.
States have spent the past year reaching out to educators and advocates to decide how to handle everything from teacher effectiveness to school ratings to that brand new indicator of student success and school quality.
The Obama administration gave states two optional deadlines in 2017 for turning in their ESSA plans, which are supposed to be in place by the 2017-18 school year. The first is April 3, and the second is September 18. The Trump administration could decide to pushback that timeline.
But some state chiefs have told us they aren't waiting for the Trump team to be in place for ESSA before they move forward on their state plans—they're ready to get on with ESSA implementation.
By Alyson Klein on January 13, 2017 2:32 PM
Garden State Coalition of Schools