8-16-17 Education in the News

NJ Spotlight--With Vo-Techs Turning away Students, Lawmakers Consider Bond Issue

Referendum is likely a year off, but manufacturers are already saying they have more job openings than skilled workers, adding urgency to the initiative

Demand for vocational-technical training is on the rise across the state, but there’s not enough space available now in existing school facilities to meet the demand. So lawmakers are considering going before voters to ask for approval of a new state bond issue to help cover the cost of expanding the state’s network of 21 county vo-tech high schools.

The idea of floating a vo-tech bond issue was just announced yesterday, and a referendum is likely more than a year off, but lawmakers say they also have a sense of urgency because leaders of New Jersey’s manufacturing industry have been indicating for some time that they need more skilled workers to fill job openings.


John Reitmeyer | August 16, 2017


Star Ledger--What N.J. school aid reductions could mean for credit ratings

TRENTON -- The $31 million reduction in state aid to a group of New Jersey school districts will likely have limited credit impact, but districts aren't entirely safe from being hit with a downgrade, according to a major rating agency. 

S&P Global Ratings said in a report Monday it does not expect the state aid changes to have a major effect on credit because most districts should be able to cover their losses with reserves. Districts also have the chance to apply for emergency aid from the state, the report noted. 

However, districts could be in trouble if their reserve funds are significantly diminished. 

"Downward pressure on ratings could result," the agency warned. 


Adam Clark| Posted on August 15, 2017 at 8:41 AM


The Record--School superintendents' salaries could jump to over $220K with cap lift

A bonus incentive to keep school superintendents in state during salary cap restrictions set by Gov. Chris Christie five years ago will not be nixed even though the salary cap was lifted in May. Now those bonuses can increase superintendents' salaries to over $220,000. 

In 2011 hoping to give local tax relief and put more money back into the classroom, Christie enacted salary cap guidelines for superintendents ranging from $125,000 to $175,000 based on district size. At the same time, pay incentives based on the superintendent meeting district goals were created. The bonuses require annual board of education approval. 


Kristie Cattafi, Staff Writer, @KristieCattafi Published 6:45 a.m. ET Aug. 16, 2017


Education Week--A Focus on Career and Technical Education

As they attract a new wave of attention and support in schools across the country,  career and technical education programs grapple with new challenges: How should they maintain program quality and weed out career paths that lead students to dead-end jobs? As high-flying programs become popular and more academically rigorous, how can educators ensure that they remain demographically diverse? And how can schools do a better job of getting the word out to all students about all of these new college and career options? Photographers Mark Abramson, Andrea Morales and Joe Buglewicz worked with Education Week reporter Catherine Gewertz on a three-part series for Education Week that takes a look at the challenges and opportunities faced by three states’ career and technical education programs.


Charles Borst posted August 14, 2017