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Garden State Coalition of Schools
Elisabeth Ginsburg, Executive Director
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4-11-17 Education in the News

NJ Spotlight--Allegations of Islam Indoctrination in Schools Spread to New Jersey

Controversy in Chatham as two mothers claim school district proselytizing Islam while school officials point out teaching of world religions is legally mandated

A controversy brewing in Chatham, NJ, began with a simple cartoon shown to students that taught the five pillars of Islam: "The first pillar means to believe in God. And he is the only God. And the prophet Mohammed peace be upon him is his messenger."

A homework assignment followed in which two mothers said their children had to fill in the blanks of this sentence about Islamic belief systems: “There is no god but BLANK and BLANK is his messenger.”


Matt Katz | April 11, 2017



Star Ledger--As Christie's exit looms, 16 new charter schools want to open

TRENTON -- In what could be the final opportunity to win approval from the Christie administration, 16 new charters schools are trying to open in New Jersey. 

The proposals come predominantly from North Jersey but also include plans for schools in Atlantic, Burlington and Ocean counties. The state must decide by July if it wants to approve any of the schools.

Gov. Chris Christie, a school choice advocate, has called charter schools "salvation" for urban families and greatly expanded the number of charter school seats during his tenure.

However, his administration has approved fewer new schools in recent years and instead supported school choice through the expansion of existing schools. 

After the decisions on the 16 pending applications, the next round of charter school authorizations might not come until after Christie's term is finished. Some candidates for governor have signaled they may be less friendly toward charter schools or would even support a moratorium. 


Adam Clark | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com| April 10, 2017 at 3:27 PM


The Record--New bill tackles lead in school drinking water

NORTHVALE — The Northvale School District was lauded by Rep. Josh Gottheimer for its quick response after finding lead in its drinking water last year. While students and teachers were out on spring break, Gottheimer chose the school to announce the introduction of his legislation called  the Lead-Free Schools Act.


Marc Lightdale , Staff Writer, 4:48 p.m. ET April 10, 2017 | Updated 8 hours ago



The Record--Christie says more pension reforms are on the way

Gov. Chris Christie said Monday reforms to the state's beleaguered public employee pension system are back on the table, with a package of proposals being discussed with all but one of the state's unions — the large and influential New Jersey Education Association.

The teachers and Christie had a falling out after the the governor announced an "unprecedented accord" two years ago. The NJEA said that reform plan was misrepresented to the public by Christie and the union backed away from its alliance with the governor and instead focused on suing him.


Dustin Racioppi , State House Bureau| 2:22 p.m. ET April 10, 2017 | Updated 12 hours ago


Education Week--Course Choice: A Different Way to Expand School Choice?

Plans to expand school choice from President Donald Trump, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, and Congress have largely focused on high-profile measures like vouchers and tax-credit scholarships. But there’s another option for the Trump administration to promote, one that’s supported in multiple sections of the Every Student Succeeds Act and that many states are already using.

Course choice, also known as course access, allows for parents and students to select various pre-approved courses beyond what their districts normally offer. The courses, many of which are taught online, can include everything from university classes and SAT preparation to welder training.


By Liana Loewus and Andrew Ujifusa|April 4, 2017

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