3-26-18 Educationin the News

NJ Spotlight--State’s Bonded Debt Soars to Nosebleed Heights: $46.1 Billion

It gets worse: New Jersey’s grand total owed to bondholders, public workers, and other groups climbs to stratospheric $200-plus billion

The results of New Jersey’s latest big-picture fiscal checkup are in, and they reveal a state that continues to be saddled with a staggering amount debt — despite recent efforts to wind down Trenton’s time-worn borrowing habit.

For starters, New Jersey’s bonded debt grew by nearly $3.2 billion during the past fiscal year, reaching a record-high total of $46.1 billion, according the latest official debt report released by the Department of Treasury.


John Reitmeyer | March 26, 2018


NJ Spotlight--Op-Ed: This is No Time for a Time Out on Charter Schools

My message to the governor: charter schools are the future of New Jersey education; preventing the growth of these schools is an injustice to our citizens

I am a proud charter school parent who voted for Gov. Phil Murphy. I support many of the governor’s key priorities and I’m excited for the changes he plans to make in New Jersey, including increasing funding to our public schools, fixing the inequality in our tax structure, reforming our criminal justice system, and protecting our Dreamers.

What I cannot support is his plan to take a “time out” on charter schools.


Joanna Garnett Raeppold | March 26, 2018


Star Ledger--Is your spring break screwed because of the snow? It depends

to sleep in, go sledding, and build snow sculptures. But, when New Jersey has had a snowy winter, with four significant storms in March alone, even students looking forward to unexpected breaks from the grind get nervous at the prospect of too many snow days.

School districts in New Jersey that have called a significant number of snow days have to make tough decisions about how to make those days up to meet the state-mandated 180 days for the year. 

Cut spring break? Extend the school year? 

Either way, parents and kids aren't usually happy. 


Robert Sciarrino | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com| Posted March 23, 2018 at 11:27 AM | Updated March 23, 2018 at 11:28 AM


Asbury Park Press--New school aid figures disappoint underfunded districts: Tomazic

With such a cacophony of political noise surrounding school funding in New Jersey, it is a wonder how the average citizen makes any sense of it.  Few are taking time from aggressive advocacy to explain. 

The underfunded districts cry foul that the administration is not following the funding law.  The over-aided districts stay largely mute, benefiting from the ongoing chaos that allows them year after year to receive and spend more state aid than they deserve. 


Rocco Tomazic Published 5:37 p.m. ET March 25, 2018


Education Week--Can Money Help Attract More Diverse Teachers? Only Sometimes, Analysis Finds

What works—and what doesn't work—to attract nonwhite candidates into the teaching profession?

School district leaders and state education chiefs have been trying to figure this out for years now, especially because research shows that having a teacher from similar demographic backgrounds has social and academic benefits for students, most of whom are nonwhite. A new analysis from the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution found that when it comes to financial incentives, only certain ones make a difference in recruiting more diverse teachers to the profession. 

Offering relocation assistance is the strongest predictor of a more diverse teacher workforce, the analysis found—followed closely by student loan forgiveness, bonuses for excellence in teaching, and bonuses for teaching in less desirable locations (for example, high-poverty schools). Those incentives are associated with increases of 2 to 4 percentage points in the number of nonwhite teachers at a school. 


Madeline Will on March 22, 2018 12:20 PM