|6-30-17 Education in the News|
NJ Spotlight- Prieto Digs in, Controversial Horizon Reform Remains Budget Stumbling Block
Assembly Speaker describes Senate-approved measure as a pig with ‘no lipstick, maybe just a little bit of blush’
The controversial proposal to reform Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield continues to bedevil a deal on New Jersey’s 2018 budget, even as some Democratic leaders framed the measure as a temporary fix they could undo after it is used to secure the governor’s support for the annual spending plan.
The Senate approved a bill Thursday to overhaul how New Jersey regulates Horizon, its largest health insurance company, which could enable officials to tap into some of its surplus dollars for public health needs. But the measure did not even get posted for a vote in the Assembly, where Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Essex) stressed that the issue needs more study and shouldn’t be rushed through with the annual budget — and it was unclear if the issue would be scheduled for an Assembly vote today, when both houses return to Trenton to finalize any business before the budget deadline.
Lilo H. Stainton | June 30, 2017
NJ Spotlight--Showdown or Shutdown: Will Dems Deliver on Deal Sweeney Cut with Christie?
In return for passing the Horizon and Lottery-transfer bills, the governor says he’ll sign the budget — and keep his veto pen to himself. Meanwhile, the budget-countdown clock keeps ticking
Lawmakers are returning to Trenton today to try one last time to resolve a political stalemate that is holding up passage of the next state budget, splitting Democrats in the State House and threatening the position of Assembly Speaker Vince Prieto. If not resolved today, it will trigger the first state government shutdown in over a decade, meaning state parks and beaches will be closed over the long July 4th weekend.
The dispute centers around Gov. Chris Christie’s insistence that Democratic legislative leaders send him two pieces of legislation, along with a $34.7 billion spending plan that Democrats moved out of committees earlier this week.
John Reitmeyer | June 30, 2017
NJ Spotlight--New School Aid Left in Limbo as Pols Take Budget to 11th Hour
The $131 million now set to go to districts is about 10% less than originally planned; cuts will be held to 2% of total aid
When New Jersey’s budget season began last winter, Republican and Democratic leaders starkly differed in how they wanted the state to address the gaps in its funding of public schools.
Today as the politicians come back to Trenton to try to reach a final budget and avert a state shutdown, school funding may be the one detail on which all — or at least most — of the parties agree.
But that is hardly certain, and still depends on Gov. Chris Christie signing the budget without giving his veto pen a workout.
The stakes are significant and the timing is tight; the July 4th weekend is technically the start of the 2018 fiscal year for the state and the districts.
John Mooney | June 30, 2017
Star Ledger--Transgender student bill passes, heads to Christie's desk
NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
TRENTON -- A proposal that would provide key protections for transgender students in public schools earned final approval from state lawmakers Thursday and now heads to Gov. Chris Christie for consideration.
Under the bill (A4652), schools would be expressly told that they are not allowed to force transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that conflict with their gender identity. Instead, schools would be mandated to provide "reasonable alternative arrangements."
Adam Clark and Sophie Nieto-Munoz| Updated on June 29, 2017 at 6:38 PM Posted on June 29, 2017 at 4:48 PM
Education Week--Chan-Zuckerberg to Push Ambitious New Vision for Personalized Learning
Former deputy secretary of education to head expanded initiative
Pediatrician Priscilla Chan and Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg are gearing up to invest hundreds of millions of dollars a year in a new vision of “whole-child personalized learning,” with the aim of dramatically expanding the scope and scale of efforts to provide every student with a customized education.
The emerging strategy represents a high-stakes effort to bridge longstanding divides between competing visions for improving the nation’s schools. Through their recently established Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the billionaire couple intends to support the development of software that might help teachers better recognize and respond to each student’s academic needs—while also supporting a holistic approach to nurturing children’s social, emotional, and physical development.
Benjamin Herold|June 29, 2017
NJ Observer--Here’s How Everyone Voted on the State Budget and Horizon
State lawmakers failed to pass a budget on Thursday, putting New Jersey closer to a government shutdown.
The Assembly pulled a vote on the budget after more than two dozen Democrats refused to vote on it. The Senate didn’t vote on the spending plan, but narrowly passed a bill tied to the budget negotiations that would restructure the state’s largest health insurer, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Here’s a breakdown of the Assembly’s vote on the budget and the Senate’s vote on the Horizon bill:
Christian Hetrick • 06/29/17 9:35pm
NJ Observer-- As Shutdown Deadline Looms, Some NJ Senators Vow to Vote No on Budget
But, while a vote was pushed back, senators were given the opportunity to express 11th hour concerns about the budget. Sweeney said that floor remarks on the budget would not be heard on Friday.
The budget is the product “cutting three-part deals behind closed doors,” said state Sen. Anthony Bucco (R-Morris). The senator took issue with Gov. Chris Christie’s proposal to raid the reserves of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, the state’s largest insurance provider, in order to fund state programs.
Alyana Alfaro • 06/29/17 6:55pm
Garden State Coalition of Schools