1-26-18 Education in the News

NJ Spotlight--Time to Scrap the Superintendent Salary Cap?

Senate bill could be an early step to dismantle Christie's education legacy

In what could be the first step of many to roll back Gov. Chris Christie's education legacy, the state Senate has released a bill that eliminates Christie's controversial cap on salaries for school superintendents.

The bill would essentially do away with the current $191,000 salary cap for superintendents and return contract control to the districts.

Senator Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex), newly appointed chair of the Senate Education Committee, is sponsoring the bill (S-692). She said that while the cap's original intent may have been to rein in excessive compensation packages and cut school spending, its result was to send many of New Jersey's top superintendents to better-paying states.


Carly Sitrin | January 26, 2018


NJ Spotlight--Business Task Force Hopes to Transform New Jersey into Millennial Magnet

The Garden State has the highest millennial outmigration in the country, but attention to education, tuition, and vocational training could go a long way to turning things around

New Jersey business leaders have been concerned for a while about the number of millennials that leave the state once they finish high school. After studying the issue more closely over the past year, a business group has come up with a multifaceted plan to keep more millennials in New Jersey, and to even entice those living in other states to move here.


John Reitmeyer | January 26, 2018


NJ Spotlight--Op-Ed: Our Schools Survived Christie — How Do We Move Forward?

What's crucial is taking steps to fundamentally alter the way Trenton fulfills its obligations to our 1.4 million public school children

Former Gov. Chris Christie made no secret of his disdain for New Jersey's public schools. He set the tone in the 2010 state budget - his first - when he pushed through a $1 billion school-funding cut, wiping out two years of increases under the School Funding Reform Act (SRFA), the landmark weighted funding-formula enacted in 2008.

In his budgets over the next seven years, Christie refused to fund the SFRA formula, blowing a $1 billion annual hole in district budgets and forcing cuts to essential staff, programs, and services. But there's more:


David G. Sciarra | January 26, 2018


Star Ledger--Why shuffling problem teachers in N.J. may soon be a thing of the past

A state Senate panel Thursday endorsed a proposed law to stop New Jersey teachers accused of sexual misconduct from easily moving to new schools, one month after an NJ Advance Media investigation revealed glaring problems with the way school employees are vetted.

The Senate Education Committee unanimously approved the bill moments after the  organizations representing New Jersey school boards, superintendents and principals testified in support of the proposal, contingent on amendments to help guide how they will implement the stricter background checks. 


Adam Clark| Updated Jan 25, 6:54 PM; Posted Jan 25, 4:07 PM


Asbury Park Press--Does New Jersey have the money to fix school funding?

LITTLE SILVER - Almost no one is content with New Jersey's school funding formula, and the crowd of 300 people gathered in Little Silver's Markham Place School on Wednesday night to hear from their elected officials was no different.

In the school auditorium, six Trenton legislators spent two hours addressing problems with school funding, the heftiest tax burden facing many residents here. 

Little Silver Schools Superintendent Carolyn Kossack said districts in the area were facing a "fiscal cliff" of flat year-over-year state aid while also being constrained by a 2 percent state-mandated cap on tax levy increases. Watch the meeting in the video above.


Amanda Oglesby| Published 5:00 a.m. ET Jan. 26, 2018


The Atlantic--What School-Funding Debates Ignore

Money matters, but educational inequality goes much deeper.

Supporters of urban education frequently make the case that city schools are underfunded. Hampered by reliance on local property taxes, they contend, urban schools lack the resources they need to ensure their students succeed.

In most states, though, spending on education in rich and poor neighborhoods is relatively equal. And in states including Minnesota, New Jersey, and Ohio, city schools regularly outspend their suburban counterparts. Even in those cases, however, achievement disparities between suburban and urban schools persist. Those who advocate against increased funding for urban schools are quick to point to this fact as evidence that more money won’t make a difference.


Jack Schneider| Jan 22, 2018


Education Week--Racial Disparities in Special Ed.: How Widespread Is the Problem?

Are too many minority students being placed into special education who don’t need to be there? And, once enrolled, are they kept in isolated classrooms or punished more severely than their peers?

For 423 school districts in the 2015-16 school year—the most recent year for which complete federal statistics are available—the answer was yes.

That’s about 3 percent of the nation’s 14,500 or so school systems. More than 20 states documented no disproportionality in their districts that year, according to an analysis by the Education Week Research Center.


Christina Samuels and Alex Harwin| January 24, 2018