3-2-18 Education in the News

NJ Spotlight--Profiling Local Property Taxes and Property-Tax Relief Across Garden State

Increased transparency at the Department of Community Affairs makes it possible to track property taxes for New Jersey municipalities - and see where and by how much the state tried to offset them


Colleen O'Dea | March 2, 2018


Star Ledger--N.J. schools are putting kids through scary shooter drills -- and parents have no idea

Every month in Jessica DeLuca's first-grade classroom at Paul Robeson Community School in New Brunswick, the 6- and 7-year-old students huddle in the corner with the lights out, unsure if there's actually a shooter in the hallway, she said. 

"Even if I try to hide it, the kids can see that I'm scared, too," DeLuca said. 

For years, New Jersey schools have participated in such surprise lockdown- and active-shooter drills, putting students as young as pre-K in a potentially traumatic atmosphere.


Adam Clark| Updated Mar 1, 4:35 PM; Posted Mar 1, 7:12 AM


Star Ledger--What students planning school protests, walkouts need to know about their rights

Students across the nation are planning to walk out of their schools on March 14 at 10 a.m. for 17 minutes -- 60 seconds apiece to honor each of the victims of the February mass shooting at the high school in Parkland, Florida.

Districts in New Jersey have had varying responses to the idea of the walkout, with some facilitating student action, and others raising concerns over school safety.

Some students are having extensive dialogue with administrators about the potential consequences of participating in the event. But, many are adamant about using their free speech rights to show support for the students and staff members killed on Valentine's Day.

Though every district has different rules, here's what students need to know if they are thinking of participating in a walkout:


Sara Jerde | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com|  Posted March 01, 2018 at 07:11 AM | Updated March 01, 2018 at 07:51 AM


Star Ledger--5 ways Trump's immigration crackdown could be affecting your kid's classroom

The Trump administration's efforts to arrest and deport unauthorized immigrants is causing behavior issues, increased absenteeism and other problems in the nation's schools, according to a first-of-its-kind study released Wednesday.

Researchers with UCLA's Civil Rights Project surveyed educators in 730 schools in 12 states -- including New Jersey -- on how increased immigration enforcement has impacted teaching and learning in the nation's classrooms.

The study found many schools, especially those with high numbers of immigrant families, were significantly impacted by the immigration crackdown. Even non-immigrant students were affected, researchers said.

"Educators from all parts of the country tell us their immigrant students are distracted and living in fear of losing their parents to deportation and this is affecting all the students in their classrooms.  As a result, teachers in these mostly low-income schools are being stressed sometimes to the breaking point," said  Patricia Gándara, co-director of the UCLA Civil Rights Project and the study's lead researcher.


Kelly Heyboer | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com| Posted March 01, 2018 at 11:15 AM | Updated March 01, 2018 at 05:31 PM


Gannett News Service (viaThe Record)--Opinion: On the First Amendment and school “walkouts”

The national walkouts that students are currently organizing to call for new gun control legislation are commendable examples of “Generation Z” exercising its First Amendment freedoms. Unfortunately, students, teachers and other staff are likely to run up against legal limits around free speech and protest on school grounds.


Gene Policinski and Lata Nott, Gannett News Service Published 6:38 a.m. ET March 2, 2018 | Updated 7:08 a.m. ET March 2, 2018


Press of Atlantic City--Our view: Gov. Murphy gets first urgent lesson in school of political reality

The Murphy administration made a serious misstep recently, hastily tossing an accomplished black woman out of the education position it had named her to. Gov. Phil Murphy’s action and his response to the fallout from it raise significant worries about how he sees himself and his mission.

The new governor could learn from this early unfortunate episode and find the path to gubernatorial greatness that New Jersey desperately needs. But if he’s blind to its lessons, he could go the discredited way of his predecessor and fellow wealthy Goldman Sachs alumnus, Jon Corzine.


Press of Atlantic City| March 2, 2018


NY Times--Trump Wants to Arm Teachers. These Schools Already Do.

SIDNEY, Ohio — The 8-by-11-inch box sits atop a bookshelf in the district headquarters, as much a part of the office furniture as the manila folders, yearbooks and Webster’s dictionaries. Inside is a semiautomatic Glock handgun with extra magazines, equipment that education leaders here say will prevent this district from suffering the next schoolhouse tragedy.

Dispersed throughout the seven school buildings in this rural Ohio district outside of Dayton are dozens of biometric safes, tucked away discreetly in closets and classrooms, only accessible to a designated staff member whose fingerprint can open the box. A bulletproof vest is nearby, in an undisclosed location, fortified to protect against any bullet except one fired from an assault rifle.