2-13-18 Education in the News

NJ Spotlight--Poor Students Still Not Getting Breakfast in Many NJ Schools

Report indicates that New Jersey remains 19th in country for participation in school breakfast program, essentially the position it held in previous school year

Though it's made great strides in recent years, New Jersey's school breakfast program has reached a plateau, according to a new national report.

The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) released its annual School Breakfast Report Card for 2016-2017. It shows New Jersey remains 19th in the country for its low-income student participation rate in the school breakfast program — the same position it held the previous school year, but up from the 23rd in 2014-2015 and an abysmal 48th in 2011.

What's more, the report calculates New Jersey would have received $13,466,080 in additional federal funding if it met the national recommendation that 70 percent of low-income students receive school breakfast.


Carly Sitrin | February 13, 2018


New Jersey Spotlight--Opinion: Sweeney Reminds New Governor, NJEA Who's Really in Charge

The president of the senate emerges unscathed from a blitz of negative ads ordered up by the teachers union, makes it clear that he's as much a policymaker as Murphy

Senate President Steve Sweeney's line-in-the-sand declaration that a tax increase is "an absolute last resort" and should await the outcome of a comprehensive review of how government raises and spends revenue was quickly interpreted as a blunt reminder to Gov. Phil Murphy that the Legislature is co-equal in stature and power.

In the swirl of speculation about the less-than-warm relationship between the two, the conclusion reached on Sweeney's motive was logical and understandable. He's sent similar signals almost since Murphy's inaugural, asserting the Legislature's primacy and, by implication, his own, in advancing Murphy's agenda.


Carl Golden | February 13, 2018


Star Ledger—Op-Ed--Murphy's turn to fix the sickening conditions of N.J.'s urban schools | Opinion

Entire school districts are shutting down due to mold contamination and fears of asbestos exposure

Students are unable to drink from water fountains due to worries about high lead levels

Classroom temperatures reach triple digits in the spring and are freezing cold in the winter. 

A middle school shut down for months because of a collapsed roof. 

Districts comprised of a dozen schools constructed when horse and buggies ruled the roads.


Jerell Blakeley and Elizabeth Smith, Star-Ledger Guest Columnists| Updated Feb 12, 9:34 AM; Posted Feb 12, 9:34 AM


Education Week--Trump Seeks to Cut Education Budget by 5 Percent, Expand School Choice Push

President Donald Trump is seeking a roughly 5 percent cut to the U.S. Department of Education's budget for fiscal 2019 in a proposal that also mirrors his spending plan from last year by seeking to eliminate a major teacher-focused grant and to expand school choice.

Trump's proposed budget, released Monday, would provide the Education Department with $63.2 billion in discretionary aid, a $3.6 billion cut—or 5.3 percent— from current spending levels, for the budget year starting Oct. 1. That's actually less of a cut than what the president sought for fiscal 2018, when he proposed slashing $9.2 billion—or 13.5 percent—from the department.

In order to achieve those proposed spending cuts, the president copied two major education cuts he proposed last year: the elimination of Title II teacher grants and the 21st Century Community Learning Centers. Those two cuts combined would come to about $3.1 billion from current levels. Overall, 39 discretionary programs would be cut, eliminated, or "streamlined."


Andrew Ujifusa on February 12, 2018 1:05 PM