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Garden State Coalition of Schools
Elisabeth Ginsburg, Executive Director
160 West State Street
Trenton, New Jersey 08608


5-25-17 Education in the News

NJ Spotlight--10.5% Returns for NJ Public Pension System, Big Turnaround from Last Year

Investment council maintains strategy, continues to cut back hedge funds, waits to see if Legislature will take up governor’s Lottery proposal

With financial returns on state investments now rising to over 10 percent for the current fiscal year, the panel that sets investment policy for New Jersey’s beleaguered public-employee pension system has opted to stick with its current investing strategy.

A decision to keep the existing targets for stocks, bonds, and other investments when the next fiscal year begins in July was made yesterday by the New Jersey State Investment Council during a public meeting in Trenton.


John Reitmeyer | May 25, 2017


NJ Spotlight--Newark Parents’ LIFO Challenge Back in Court on Appeal

Summarily dismissed last month, the appeal turns on the plaintiffs’ allegation that judge didn’t give ‘adequate consideration to harm … being done’

A month after a state judge dismissed a challenge to the law for what she said was a lack of evidence, the plaintiffs taking on the last-in-first-out seniority rules for teachers in Newark yesterday filed to appeal the decision.

“We don’t believe the judge gave adequate consideration to the harm that is being done,” said Kathleen Reilly, attorney for the Newark families that filed the initial suit and the subsequent appeal to the appellate division.


John Mooney | May 25, 2017


Star Ledger--How to get your kid a seat in one of N.J.'s hardest-to-get-into high schools

This story is part of "N.J.'s hardest-to-get-into high schools," an NJ Advance Media special report on the rise of specialized public high schools for top students around the state.

Long before they start dreaming about applying to college, many New Jersey middle school students are striving to get into some of the state's best high schools. 

Over the last few decades, the number of county-run specialized high schools for high-achieving students has spiked in New Jersey. Nearly every county in the state now offers specialized programs and schools run by the country vocational-technical school districts. 

Some of the New Jersey schools are ranked among the best public high schools in the country because of their rigorous academics and high-scoring students. Admission is free for students.

How do you get in? In many cases, it's not easy.


Kelly Heyboer | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com| Updated May 24, 2017
Posted May 24, 2017


Associated Press (via Philadelphia Inquirer) DeVos won’t say whether she’d withhold federal funds from private schools that discriminate

WASHINGTON — Education Secretary Betsy DeVos refused to say Wednesday whether she would block private schools that discriminate against LGBT students from receiving federal dollars, explaining that she believes states should have the flexibility to design voucher programs and that parents should be able to choose schools that best fit their children's needs.

DeVos returned frequently to the theme of what she called a need for more local control in her first appearance before Congress since her rocky confirmation hearing in January.


Fielding questions from members of a House Appropriations subcommittee, she said that states should decide how to address chronic absenteeism, mental health issues and suicide risks among students and that states should also decide whether children taking vouchers are protected by federal special-education law.


Emma Brown & Danielle Douglas-Gabriel| Washington Post, | Updated: May 24, 2017 — 4:17 PM EDT

Education Week--DeVos, Democrats Wage War Over Budget Cuts, Students' Rights Under Vouchers

Democrats sparred with U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos about the budget proposal from President Donald Trump that would direct $1.4 billion to expand school choice and sharply questioning her commitment to protecting students with federal vouchers from discrimination during a House subcommittee hearing Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Republicans questioned the education secretary more gently, focusing on special education and applauding the fiscal 2018 budget plan's emphasis on new resources for school choice. 

Democratic lawmakers pushed DeVos to explain why public schools wouldn't suffer and lose out because of a proposed $1 billion in new Title I for public school choice, as well as $250 million for a new research program to study the impact of vouchers on needy students.

"Quite frankly, this puts us on the path to privatization of public education," said Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., the committee's top Democrat, in her opening statement.  


Andrew Ujifusa on May 24, 2017 2:21 PM

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