7-24-17 Education in the News

NJ Spotlight--Time to Take Another Crack at Closing the State’s Budget Gap?

Consensus forecasting, according to advocates, could eliminate the ‘April surprise’ that sends the state scrambling to make up funds when tax collection projections don’t match reality

State lawmakers are taking another crack at enacting legislation that would overhaul the way New Jersey forecasts tax collections, after the past two fiscal years ended with Gov. Chris Christie’s administration scrambling to close budget shortfalls that totaled a combined $1 billion.

A bipartisan measure introduced in the state Senate last month would turn the current revenue-projection process, which is heavily dominated by the executive branch, into a more collaborative effort that would involve seeking a consensus among both lawmakers and the governor’s office.


John Reitmeyer | July 24, 2017


Star Ledger--Christie signs bill to create bathroom, other rights for transgender students

TRENTON -- Transgender students at New Jersey's public schools were given new layers of protection under a bill that Gov. Chris Christie signed into law Friday.

The legislation (S3067/A4652) -- which takes effect immediately -- requires the state education commissioner to draft specific guidelines to help schools address "the needs" of transgender students and establish policies that "ensure a supportive and nondiscriminatory environment" for those students. 

Schools will be expressly told that they cannot force transgender students to use bathrooms or locker rooms that conflict with their gender identity.

Instead, schools would be be mandated to provide "reasonable alternative arrangements if needed to ensure a student's safety and comfort."


Brent Johnson| Updated on July 22, 2017 at 12:40 PM Posted on July 22, 2017 at 7:30 AM


Education Week--Florida to Seek Waiver From Key ESSA Provisions

Florida plans to seek a waiver from several fundamental portions of the Every Student Succeeds Act that dictate how schools handle some of the country’s most historically underperforming and disadvantaged students.

But the draft request, which seeks to mostly keep intact a state school accountability system that predates the new federal K-12 law, already has inflamed civil rights advocates, and could prove an early test of how the U.S. Department of Education intends to weigh states’ bids for flexibility in the ESSA plans being submitted for approval.

Florida is asking, among other things, that it not be required to judge schools based on how well English-learners perform on language proficiency exams or how wide achievement gaps are between poor, black, Latino, and other students and their white peers.

In addition, the state education department does not want to give proficiency exams in students’ native language as ESSA requires because, it says, the state constitution declares English as Florida’s official language.


Daarel Burnette II |July 20, 2017