3-27-18 Education in the News

NJ Spotlight--Repollet Confirmation, as Much Celebration as Cross-Examination

Murphy’s choice for commissioner of education draws applause at Senate Judiciary hearing

Lamont Repollet’s coming-out party yesterday proved to be pretty upbeat.

Named to be Gov. Phil Murphy’s education commissioner, the former Asbury Park schools superintendent came before the state Legislature for his confirmation hearing and appeared to more than hold his own — even with Republicans.

In his first extended public comments since his nomination, Repollet parried questions about school funding, charter schools and school security, among other topics, pledging to be open and transparent on what lies ahead.


John Mooney | March 27, 2018


NJ Spotlight--Hungry Kids Can’t Learn: Feeding More Students Breakfast, Lunch at School

A package of bills seeks to expand number of poor and low-income students getting federally funded meals at school, track those not being fed

More than a half million New Jersey students live in low-income households with little money for the day’s meals. The state Senate on Monday approved a package of bills that would help prevent many of these youngsters from going hungry.

Approved by unanimous or near unanimous votes, the measures would expand the school breakfast and summer-meals programs to thousands of additional students and would have the state track districts not fully participating in the federal meal programs and count students who are denied meals.


Colleen O'Dea | March 27, 2018


Star Ledger--Is Murphy for or against charter schools? The gov's murky policy just got clearer

New Jersey will still consider applications to open or expand new charter schools, even as it mulls revisions to its charter school law, the state's top education official said Thursday. 

In a confirmation hearing before a panel of state lawmakers, acting education commoner Lamont Repollet was asked point blank how new Gov. Phil Murphy's administration will handle applications. 

"If tomorrow, in a district that is underperforming, a charter school makes an application that comes before you, are you going to act on it or are you going to put it aside?" asked state Sen. Gerald Cardinale, R-Bergen. 

"We are not going to put it aside," Repollet said, "because the regulation states those charter schools have a right to apply." 

Adam Clark| Updated Mar 26, 7:32 PM; Posted Mar 26, 3:50 PM


Asbury Park Press--NJ Education: Repollet grilled on school funding at confirmation hearing

TRENTON — Acting Commissioner of Education Lamont Repollet received the unanimous backing of the Senate Judiciary Committee at a confirmation hearing Monday, after  facing sharp questioning about fairness in school funding. 

Repollet said he'd spend the first six to eight months of his tenure assessing the current system in place before making any suggestions, but said he hoped to "modernize" the funding formula.

Repollet, 47, who previously served as superintendent of the Asbury Park School District, was asked repeatedly by Republican senators if he felt the school funding formula in use in New Jersey was sustainable. 


Austin Bogues and Stacey Barchenger, Asbury Park Press Published 1:10 p.m. ET March 26, 2018 | Updated 5:08 p.m. ET March 26, 2018


The Atlantic--The Push for Harsher School Discipline After Parkland

Some policymakers are considering whether to more aggressively punish student misbehavior in their effort to make campuses safer.

Student survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School arrive at a rally for gun control in Tallahassee, Florida. Gerald Herbert / AP

The February 14 Parkland shooting that killed 17 people has led to a slew of policy proposals, including the headline-grabbing call from President Trump and others for laws that would arm educators with guns. There have also been appeals for schools to increase the number of armed law-enforcement officers on campus and to fortify their buildings. Trump says he wants schools to be as secure as airports.

One of the questions on the table: school discipline. Do schools need to punish unruly children earlier on and more harshly, in the hopes that doing so prevents larger, more violent transgressions later? In 2014, the Obama administration released guidance that encouraged schools to emphasize “constructive interventions”—victim-offender mediation, for example, or preventative classroom-management strategies—rather than more punitive approaches.


Alia Wong| Mar 23, 2018


Education Week--Next Goal for Student Gun-Control Activists: Win at the Polls

The March for Our Lives may have riveted the nation over the weekend, but the next few months will determine if the nationwide demonstrations translate into action on gun control for the movement’s student leaders.

Students who spearheaded Saturday’s massive march in Washington and hundreds of other events around the country are looking to put their shoulders into the push for stricter gun laws, such as a ban on selling semi-automatic rifles similar to the AR-15 used in several school shootings.


Andrew Ujifusa| March 26, 2018