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


3-13-18 Education in the News

NJ Spotlight--The Big Things to Watch for in Murphy’s Inaugural Budget

New Jersey gets its first look at how governor plans to translate campaign promises into policies and spending priorities, as he issues his first state budget today

Gov. Phil Murphy is scheduled to present his first state budget this afternoon in a speech before a joint session of the Legislature in Trenton. Since being sworn in earlier this year, Murphy, a Democrat, has promised to take the state in a new direction after eight years under former Republican Gov. Chris Christie. The budget message will provide him with the first real opportunity to show what that will look like by fleshing out his own policy proposals — and by committing real dollars to his spending priorities.


John Reitmeyer | March 13, 2018


NJ Spotlight--NJ Police Chiefs Oppose Legal Marijuana — No Good Test for It, Danger to Drivers

Marijuana use by drivers a major cause for concern along with lack of easy, reliable test to measure impairment

Law enforcement officials in New Jersey have announced their opposition to legalization of marijuana, saying there’s currently no way for them to accurately monitor or arrest those driving under the influence of the drug.

New Jersey’s statewide association of police chiefs (NJSACOP) has released a statement officially opposing legalization of recreational marijuana in the state. The chiefs’ biggest concern is that there is not enough long-term data on record to be able to predict the impacts legalization would have on drivers and the community.


Carly Sitrin | March 13, 2018


Star Ledger--How to handle snow days? N.J. could learn a few lessons from other states

A Roxbury school bus in the snow, Feb. 8, 2017 (Robert Sciarrino / NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)

For public school students in New Jersey, there is no such thing as learning from home during a snowstorm. The state law requiring at least 180 days of in-class instruction per school year poses a thorny challenge when winter gets rough.

Districts grappling with more weather-related cancellations than expected have scrapped spring break or extended the school year deep into June, wrecking havoc with planned vacations by students and staff.

Yet, with companies increasingly receptive to employees working from home, some other states across the country are applying the same principle to their public schools.

New Jersey has not yet allowed these creative solutions to the snow day conundrum.  


Rob Jennings | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com| Posted March 13, 2018 at 07:13 AM | Updated March 13, 2018 at 07:14 AM


Star Ledger--Murphy: I won't say 'hell no' to charter schools

Gov. Phil Murphy's administration is about to scrutinize charter school law, but that doesn't mean he has it out for charter schools, he said Monday. 

"I have never been nor will I be 'hell no' on charters," Murphy said during an appearance on NJ 101.5. "I just don't like the way we've done it." 

Murphy campaigned on taking a "time out" on charter school applications until the state can find out what's working and what's not. But it remains unclear exactly what that means for charter schools hoping to expand or groups looking to open a new school. 

On Friday, his administration announced it will conduct a "comprehensive review" of charter school law but declined to say whether new applications will be considering during that process. 


Adam Clark Updated Mar 12, 8:30 PM; Posted Mar 12, 5:46 PM


Star Ledger--Meet 8 N.J. teen activists leading the Parkland walkouts, trying to make change

For students in New Jersey, watching the images of terrified high schoolers as gunman massacred 17 students and teachers at a Florida high school last month felt personal.

Eighth-grader Jane Halpern, of Upper Saddle River, is a dancer like one of the 14-year-old victims. Zach Fessler, 17, said Parkland is a community just like his in Upper Saddle River. And Hannah White said one of victims looked just like one of her friends. 

"These people are our age, this is our generation, these are people we could have met in college, these people could have been our friends, our college roommates, our spouses and we never got a chance to meet them," White, of Basking Ridge, said. "Because they were taken by guns."


Karen Yi | NJ Advance Media| Posted March 12, 2018 at 11:59 AM | Updated March 12, 2018 at 11:12 PM


Philadelphia Inquirer--So much security in Washington. Why not in schools? | Opinion

The horrific shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas has sparked a national conversation about how to keep our kids and schools safe. The outpouring of grief and loss from Florida strikes deep into every American heart. I think of my four daughters, two of whom are teachers, and my eight grandchildren. I worry about their safety. No parent should fear for their child, and no child should be afraid to go to school.

While we debate what new laws may have prevented this tragedy, and as we examine what existing protocols were failed to be enforced, we can all agree that we must do more to protect our kids.

That is why I recently called on the Trump Administration to incorporate schools as “critical infrastructure” under the guidance of the Department of Homeland Security.

There are currently 16 categories of critical infrastructure, such as the energy sector and financial services sector, whose assets, systems, and networks are considered so vital to the United States that their incapacitation or destruction would devastate our national security, economic well-being, and public health or safety. The federal government works with state and local partners, as well as private entities, to ensure the security and resilience of critical infrastructure sectors. But schools are not currently designated.

Our kids are our greatest assets. It is embarrassing for me when I see the security provided to me in Washington, knowing parents across the country are dropping their children off at school in fear. You cannot walk into the Department of Education without going through security. Why shouldn’t we protect our kids the same way we protect our politicians and bureaucrats?


Lou Barletta, For the Inquirer| Updated: March 13, 2018 — 6:23 AM EDT


Education Week--This Week's Nationwide Student Walkout: 6 Things to Know

On March 14, thousands of students across the country are expected to walk out of class or participate in events tied to what’s billed as ENOUGH: National School Walkout.

The Women’s March Youth Empower, the organizer of the event, is asking students to stage the protest at 10 a.m. in each time zone—on the one-month anniversary of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., which killed 17 students and educators. Organizers are calling for students to stay out of class for 17 minutes—one minute for each person killed in the shooting.


Denisa R. Superville, March 12, 2018


NBC News--White House promises federal aid to train armed teachers

President Donald Trump took the first step toward arming America's teachers on Sunday night, promising Justice Department assistance to help fund firearms training for school personnel.

The proposal, which the president announced last month after a former student killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, was part of a series of school safety measures the White House released Sunday evening.

It would also seek to bolster firearm background checks, expand mental health programs and encourage military veterans and retired law enforcement officers to take up careers in education. But it doesn't include a proposal the president floated March 1 to raise the minimum legal age to buy semi-automatic weapons from 18 to 21, an idea the National Rifle Association vigorously opposes.


Alex Johnson| March 12, 2018

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