|4-3-17 Education in the News|
NJ Spotlight--Op-Ed: Challenged by School-Funding Do-Over?
For starters, letís help our kids†ó letís finally fix special-education aid
The†hot-button issue of the day is fairness in school funding. Parents want better programs and services for their kids; businesses need highly skilled workers; and taxpayers are concerned with ever-growing property-tax burdens. †† †
The last time the state tackled school funding in a comprehensive way, it took many years of planning, deliberation, and negotiation. But today, all sides are feeling the pressure to fix the problem and fix it now.† However, this need for speed can actually be a recipe for inaction given conflicting policy goals, political agendas, and a general lack of understanding of the issues. We propose establishing a more achievable goal. †One that brings greater fairness while at the same time helping some of our most deserving students.†
Lynne Strickland | April 3, 2017
NJ Spotlight--Betting on NJ Lottery to Help Bail out Public-Employee Pension System
Diverting $1 billion in lottery revenue is a fix, not a solution, some experts warn, and it raises a question: How would the state budget make up for funds that are redirected?
Gov. Chris Christie piqued the interest of state lawmakers when he first suggested during his annual budget address several week ago that proceeds from the profitable New Jersey Lottery could be used to help prop up the stateís grossly underfunded public-employee pension system.
John Reitmeyer | April 3, 2017
Education Week--Could Betsy DeVos Reject a State's ESSA Plan for Not Embracing Choice? No.
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos told an audience at the Brookings Institution Wednesday that she wouldn't necessarily approve every state's plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act right off the bat. †And at the same event, she continued to push her favorite policy: school choice.)
DeVos didn't say specifically that states would have to embrace choice in their plans in order to pass muster with the department. But the juxtaposition still had some folks nervous, including Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., who told Politico that she hopes DeVos "clarifies her comments and makes it clear that she does not plan to threaten states or hold their proposals hostage unless they conform to her privatization agenda." UPDATE: A department official did, indeed, clarify DeVos' remarks to†US News and World Report.†DeVos wants to "encourage" states to consider choice in developing plans for the law, the official said.
Could DeVos legally reject a state's plan because it didn't include choice, even if she wanted to?
Short answer:†That would be a violation of ESSA, some experts say.
Longer answer: Both Democrats and Republicans who worked on ESSA say doing that would violate the long, long list of prohibitions on the Education Department's authority in the law, one of which says the secretary can't tell states what kinds of interventions they can or can't use with their lowest-performing schools.
Alyson Klein on March 30, 2017 4:45 PM
Garden State Coalition of Schools