|3-20-17 Education in the News|
Star Ledger--The 25 N.J. school districts that get the least state aid
The $13.8 billion Gov. Chris Christie proposes spending on education next year accounts for more than one-third of the state budget, including $9.1 billion that goes directly to schools to support their classrooms.
But that doesn't mean each of New Jersey's nearly 600 school district is taking home millions in state aid.
Why some districts get less
The state's school funding formula considers a district's enrollment, the demographics of the community and each district's ability to raise funds through local property taxes.
As a result, large urban districts receive the lion's share of state aid, money they are guaranteed under a state Supreme Court ruling meant to ensure students in low-income districts have academic opportunities similar to their counterparts in other schools.
Newark Public Schools takes home the most aid, $742 million, in Christie's proposed budget. Combined, the 31 districts in the landmark Abbott vs. Burke court case would receive more than $4.5 billion, not including funding for pre-K or debt service payments the state makes on behalf of school districts.
Adam Clark | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com| Updated March 20, 2017
The Record--Charter school founders face scrutiny from local officials
A former Bergen County sheriff. A retired Paterson school administrator. The head of a non-profit group paid to manage charter schools.
Along with two parents, they form the founding team of a charter school in Union County that is slated to open in September, one in a network that began years earlier in Bergen County.
While Linden public school officials have claimed fraud in the petitions submitted in support of the Union Arts and Science Charter School, they are also rankled by the makeup of the founding team and the emerging trustee board, saying it is not representative of the community.
Jean Rimbach , Staff Writer, Published 6:04 a.m. ET March 19, 2017 | Updated 11 hours ago
Philadelphia Inquirer--Textbooks could be history as schools switch to free online learning
To Garnet Valley High School social studies teacher Christine Gumpert, the biggest waste in her Non-Western Cultures class is the $100 the district shells out for each bulky textbook that covers, at best, 10 percent of the curriculum and is out-of-date the minute it rolls off the presses.
Next year, though, when Gumpert’s ninth graders reach into their backpacks, they will pull out slim laptops instead of overweight tomes and use mostly free online resources, including the latest current events from Africa, the Middle East, and anywhere else on Earth.
Garnet Valley is one of a handful of Philadelphia-area districts, and three in northern New Jersey, that are in the vanguard of a nationwide movement to ditch traditional textbooks for open-source educational resources on the web. Along with budget savings, which can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars in a district, proponents say it gives teachers more freedom to custom-tailor curriculums and allows students to learn where they’re already most comfortable -- on computers.
Kathy Boccella, Staff Writer| Updated: March 19, 2017 — 8:45 AM EDT
Education Week--Trump Ed. Dept. Has Yet to Hit the Accelerator
Under the last two presidents, the U.S. Department of Education was a mighty—and mighty well-funded—agency. But, all signs point to it being much sleepier under President Donald Trump.
For one thing, the department’s bottom line may be about to plummet. Trump has proposed a 13 percent cut in funding for the agency, to $59 billion for the coming fiscal year. That could mean serious reductions to the department’s current workforce of about 4,000 employees.
The Trump administration also has been slow to hire a support team—even though the department is about to face the mammoth task of reviewing dozens of state plans to implement the new Every Student Succeeds Act. Those plans are due to start rolling in the beginning of next month.
Alyson Klein| March 17, 2017
Garden State Coalition of Schools