12-19-17 Education in the News

NJ Spotlight--Teaming Teachers, School Staff, and Parents to Fight Chronic Absenteeism

While there have been some gains in the war against absenteeism in the past year, too many students are still missing too many days

Schools would have a new requirement to address the problem of chronic absenteeism under a bill heading toward final approval.

The bill (A-2352) that cleared the Assembly Appropriations Committee on Monday would require every public school in which at least 10 percent of students are absent for 18 days or more in a year, or about 10 percent of the school year, to develop — in conjunction with the district’s parents — a plan to reduce absenteeism.

"Chronic absenteeism creates major academic challenges for students, teachers, and school administration, and is a gateway to countless challenges later in life for those students who suffer the negative effects of missing school," said Assemblywoman Elizabeth Muoio (D-Mercer).


Colleen O'Dea | December 19, 2017


Education Week--Here's Where the GOP Tax Bill Could Hit School Funding the Hardest

The most significant change for schools in the Republican tax reform plan is likely how state and local taxes are handled because of its potential impact on school funding. But why? And where could it have the greatest impact? Buckle up. 

Here's a bit of background: The final bill agreed to by a group of House and Senate lawmakers on Friday imposes a new cap of $10,000 on deductions taxpayers can take for either property and income taxes, or property and sales taxes. That's much less than what some people, particularly in high-tax states, can deduct now. However, the standard deduction is doubled in the bills, meaning some taxpayers may no longer take state and local tax deductions yet still benefit. 

Regardless, state and local governments effectively get a "discount" when they collect revenue. That's because residents can use the state and local deductions they can currently take to reduce their overall tax burden. Under the final bill, that aforementioned discount could be reduced. That could mean flat or reduced tax revenues, and therefore flat or reduced funding for public schools. Right now, 28 percent of federal taxpayers take state and local deductions


Andrew Ujifusa on December 18, 2017 7:36 AM