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2-28-17 Education in the News

NJ Spotlight--Building Financial Literacy in High School So Kids Don’t Rack up Huge College Loans

As costs of public and private colleges continue to climb, NJ student are sinking deeper into debt, but learning to be smarter about money can be a huge help

As the cost of tuition continues to rise, more and more students across the country are being forced to take out hefty loans to pay for their college educations. In New Jersey, the student-debt issue is a particular concern, with college students here carrying some of largest debt burdens in the country.

A bipartisan group of state lawmakers is now trying to help stop New Jersey’s students from being held back by heavy debt after they graduate college by ensuring they receive at least some instruction before they leave high school on the issue of college affordability.

A bill that cleared the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee yesterday would require New Jersey’s current high-school financial-literacy curriculum to be amended to include courses on issues like the student-loan process and tuition-assistance programs. The measure would also require guidance counselors to teach students about how they can save money in the long run by completing courses that will count as college credits before they graduate high school.


John Reitmeyer | February 28, 2017


NJ Spotlight--If Feds Step in to Address Pension Crisis, Public Workers Won’t Be Winners

Former state treasurer and NJ Spotlight contributor Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff discusses the federal government helping New Jersey and other states with public-pension problems

One of the key issues Gov. Chris Christie is expected to try to tackle once again when he gives his final budget address before a joint session of the Legislature today is public worker pensions.

Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff, who served as state treasurer under Christie, caused a stir when he wrote an opinion column last week for NJ Spotlight in which he predicted the federal government will step in to deal with the pension crisis for every state, New Jersey included.


NJTV News Online | February 28, 2017

The Star Ledger--The 20 N.J. school districts most dependent on state funding

TRENTON -- When Gov. Chris Christie delivers his 2018 budget address on Tuesday, New Jersey school officials will be listening especially closely. 

How Christie will address education funding is the biggest question about his final budget, leaving administrators bracing for the possibility of funding cuts.

There's some concern Christie could follow through with the "Fairness Formula," a plan he unveiled last summer to give every district $6,599 per student regardless of income or other needs. Though many education groups are convinced Christie won't do that, they still don't have high hopes for increases in school funding. 

"I'm not expecting any good news in the budget," said Richard Bozza, executive director of the New Jersey Association of School Administrators.


Adam Clark | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com|| February 28, 2017 at 7:15 AM, updated February 28, 2017 at 7:37 AM


The Star Ledger—Editorial--Budget drama: Will Christie back off plan to wreck urban schools? Moran

Today we find out if Gov. Chris Christie intends to waste his final months in office in a doomed battle to savage the school budgets of poor districts like Newark and Camden to reduce property taxes in wealthier towns.

The smart money says he will not pull the trigger, mainly because he knows he can't win this fight. The Democratic legislature would never support such a backward plan, one that would require Newark to cut its school spending by more than half, forcing mass teacher layoffs.

Cities across the state would face the same kind of catastrophe. And that includes the urban charter schools that are the governor's most important success story. He would be trashing his own legacy.

Even if the governor somehow signed this into law, the state Supreme Court would knock it down in a second. They are so hung up, after all, about giving poor kids a fair shot, as the state's Constitution demands.


Tom Moran| February 28, 2017 at 6:30 AM

Education Week--Donald Trump's First Speech to Congress and Education: Four Things to Watch

President Donald Trump is slated to give his first big speech to Congress Tuesday. Because this is his first year in office, it's not technically a State of the Union address. (Think of it as a pseudo-SOTU in Beltway-speak).

The speech could give the country a glimpse of education's place in Trump's presidency—or it could send a signal that education won't be a major focus. 

Here are four things to watch for:

Does education come up at all?

Back in 2009, President Barack Obama made education a big theme of a similar speech in his first big speech to Congres and ended up laying out a lot of the proposals—and goals—that defined his presidency on the issue. He talked about how three-quarters of the country's fastest-growing jobs require education beyond high school, but noted that only about half of the country had attained that level of education. He set a goal of leading the world in college graduates by 2020, which he referred to again, and again, over the course of his presidency.


By Alyson Klein on February 27, 2017 8:00 AM

Wall Street Journal--N.J. Student-Teacher Videos Raise Privacy Concerns

A new rule that requires teaching candidates to submit tapes of their lessons to an education firm for review has sparked a backlash from some educators, parents

A new rule that student teachers in New Jersey will have to submit videotapes of their lessons for scoring by Pearson, the education company, has sparked a backlash from some educators and parents worried that children’s privacy might be violated.

The new rule will take effect this fall. Several district chiefs said they are so concerned that they will bar student teachers from their schools next year—a prospect that might hurt efforts to reverse teacher shortages in some subjects.

Much like athletes, teachers often film their work to scrutinize their techniques. Under new state regulations aimed at improving teacher preparation, candidates seeking certification will have to pass a Pearson test called the edTPA, which includes such classroom video.


Leslie Brody| Feb. 20, 2017 3:58 p.m. ET


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