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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


2-1-17 Education in the News

NJ Spotlight--NJ’s Top Court Refuses to Hear Christie’s School-Funding, Seniority Brief

Two-page ruling points governor to lower court to fight teacher seniority, barely mentions funding challenge

It was a long-shot bid to begin with: Gov. Chris Christie’s petition to the state Supreme Court asking it to strike down teacher seniority and rewrite its landmark Abbott v. Burke school-funding rulings.

Yesterday, the high court announced it would not hear the case, saying the administration would have to start at a lower court with the seniority challenge and not even indicating an avenue for the Abbott challenge.

In a two-page ruling signed by Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, the court did not issue an opinion on the merits of the arguments, only saying the administration would have to go through the normal channels that start in trial court.

 “The court declines to exercise original jurisdiction to hear this matter,” read the ruling.


John Mooney | February 1, 2017


NJ Spotlight--Agenda: Charter Schools and Special Education Rules Move Forward

State board to take decisive votes on controversial regulations for private special education schools and charter schools

Date: Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Time: 10 a.m.

Where: New Jersey Department of Education, 1st-floor conference room, 100 River View Plaza, Trenton

Key votes: After months of deliberations, the State Board of Education will take up two of its most contentious issues of the new year: charter schools and private special education schools. Both have proposals for new regulations up for preliminary approval, not a final vote but one that would take major objections to reverse before final approval. The state board will also hear presentations from the Jersey City school leaders, their annual report as the oldest of the four state-controlled districts.


John Mooney | February 1, 2017


Philadelphia Inquirer--Internships will be exempt from federal hiring freeze, White House says

A federal hiring freeze announced last week will not affect government internships, the White House said Tuesday.

College and high school students: Resume that summer job search.

A federal hiring freeze announced last week will not affect government internships, the White House said Tuesday.

President Trump ordered the civilian hiring freeze Jan. 23. Guidance issued two days later said there were exemptions for national security and public safety.

That left students and colleges concerned: How would the freeze affect internships?

The answer came Tuesday in the form of new guidance issued by the acting directors of the Office of Management and Budget and Office of Personnel Management. That document said the government’s paid Pathways Internship and Presidential Management Fellows programs would  be exempt from the freeze.

“Agencies should ensure that such hires understand the provisional nature of these appointments,” the guidance reads, “and that conversion is not guaranteed.”

Normally, the programs have an option for the government to “convert” interns to employees after internships end.

by Jonathan Lai, Staff Writer| Updated: January 31, 2017 — 7:05 PM EST


Washington Post--Senate panel votes in favor of Betsy DeVos, Trump’s education secretary pick

Two GOP senators say they can't commit to voting for Betsy DeVos

A Senate panel voted along party lines Tuesday to advance President Trump’s pick for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, sending her nomination to the full Senate for final approval amid the first signs of fissures within the GOP majority over her fitness for the job.

Two Republicans, Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), made clear that they have not decided how they will vote on the floor, suggesting that DeVos’s confirmation is not assured. Democrats are seeking to block DeVos’s confirmation, but they must vote as a bloc on the floor and persuade at least three Republicans to break with the new president.

Collins and Murkowski both said they believe that DeVos — a billionaire who has spent decades advocating for charter schools and taxpayer-funded vouchers — has the best interest of children at heart. But the two senators also said they are not yet persuaded that she is prepared to lead the Education Department, given her lack of experience in public education.


By Emma Brown and Moriah Balingit January 31 at 12:25 PM


Education Week--Special Education Enrollment Rose in 2015-16

2015-16 numbers boosted by students with autism

The number of students ages 6 to 21 enrolled in special education rose in the most recent year for which the federal government has data, driven by increases in the number of students classified as having autism or "other health impairments." It was the fourth year in a row for such an increase.

In fall 2015, about 5.9 million students enrolled in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Bureau of Indian Education Schools received services through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. A year ago, enrollment in that age group was approximately 5.8 million. The peak enrollment for special education was 6 million in fall 2004.

The proportion of special education students in the 6-to-21 age range is also going up. In fall 2015, students with disabilities made up about 8.8 percent of the overall population of U.S. residents those ages as calculated by the U.S. Census Bureau. In fall 2014, that proportion was 8.7 percent.

The proportion of students with disabilities in that age group has been as high as 9.1 percent, in fall 2004.

  These numbers do not mean that there is an actual increase or decrease of young people with disabilities in the United States. Child-count data are very sensitive to state and local policies that encourage, or discourage, special education identification.

For example, Texas is currently under fire after an investigation by the Houston Chronicle showed that districts were interpreting state policy to mean that special education enrollment in districts could not exceed 8.5 percent of the overall student population. The Texas Education Agency denied the allegations, but sent a letter to districts reiterating their legal responsibility to identify and evaluate students who may have disabilities.

By Christina A. Samuels |January 24, 2017



Garden State Coalition of Schools
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