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Garden State Coalition of Schools
Elisabeth Ginsburg, Executive Director
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2-12-19 Education in the News

NJ Spotlight--Eight School Districts Sue NJ DOE Over Cuts in State Aid

But Senate President Sweeney says they should have seen the writing on the blackboard, changes resolve long-standing inequities in state education aid

Eight school districts are suing the state Department of Education over planned cuts in their school budgets, saying the reductions will devastate the learning environment for thousands of students.

But Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester) says those districts should have seen the writing on the wall.

When Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy signed Sweeney’s school funding reform bill (S-2) into law last year, many heralded the move as a positive step toward equal funding for all districts. In redistributing the money the state spends on education, however, there were inevitably going to be some cuts. Especially for those districts still receiving “adjustment aid” that was supposed to be phased out years ago. Now, some of the districts getting less are taking the state to court.


Carly Sitrin | February 12, 2019



Star Ledger--Should N.J. students have to take some kind of test to graduate? You bet they should. | Opinion

Imagine being a high school graduate and finding out a few months before your big day that a court decision has put in jeopardy your ability to walk across the stage and receive a diploma. Yes, for four years, you followed the rules, took the assessments and exams and all of a sudden an Appellate Court, that you didn’t know existed, has decided the rules you followed weren’t the right rules.


Star-Ledger Guest Columnists| Shelley Skinner and Patricia Morgan| Updated Feb 8; Posted Feb 11, 6:55 PM


Washington Post--Education unions oppose calls to arm teachers

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The nation’s two largest education unions reiterated their opposition to arming teachers as a response to school shootings Monday, saying more guns on campuses will make them less safe.

The American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association joined with Everytown for Gun Safety to oppose proposals in Florida and elsewhere to arm teachers and staff members in response to the Marjory Stoneman High School massacre, which left 17 dead. The anniversary of the mass shooting is Thursday.

The Florida Legislature is considering a recommendation by the state commission that investigated the shooting to allow school districts to arm volunteer teachers who undergo background checks and training. The commission concluded that relying solely on law enforcement is insufficient because mass shootings are usually over in one to three minutes and police officers likely won’t arrive in time.

But the unions and Everytown say they oppose such measures for several reasons, including the possibility of students stealing teachers’ guns and responding officers confusing an armed teacher for the shooter. They said a study of New York City police officers showed they hit their target about one time in five shots during firefights, and teachers would be even worse. Those errant bullets would further endanger students.


Terry Spencer | AP| February 11 at 6:17 PM


Education Week--Exploring Ways to Say So Long to Traditional Letter Grades

High school junior Jadyn Sullivan tends to get stressed about schoolwork. Like many of her peers, she worries about her grades.

But in her physics class, there is no traditional A-F grading scale to worry about. That's because David Frangiosa, Jadyn's teacher at Pascack Hills High School in Montvale, N.J., uses standards-based grading instead.

In that system, students don't get grades on their assignments. Instead, Frangiosa gives them detailed feedback, and their performance is measured against specific course standards for mastery of the content.


Madeline Will| February 5, 2019


Garden State Coalition of Schools
160 W. State Street, Trenton New Jersey 08608