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Email: gscschools@gmail.com
Phone: 609-394-2828 (office)
             732-618-5755 (cell)

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Garden State Coalition of Schools
Elisabeth Ginsburg, Executive Director
160 West State Street
Trenton, New Jersey 08608

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GSCS Critical Issues: 2019-2020

2019-2020 Critical Issues


  • Funding:  Continue the  move towards full funding of the SFRA formula.  Continue to advocate for closer examination of the  unique circumstances of the  individual districts losing adjustment aid  in an effort to prevent irreversible harm  to students in  those  districts
  • Mental Health/Social Emotional Learning: Participate  in, support and foster efforts that support student and  staff mental health, and establish healthy social/emotional learning climates in all schools.
  • Special Education: Evaluate and respond to details of legislative proposals by which the state will assume control of and full funding  of special education situations that fall into the “Extraordinary Aid” category
    • Eliminate census-based student count from SFRA formula in favor of using districts’ actual SE student  numbers
    • Increase Extraordinary Aid percentages while special education  legislative proposals are being discussed and debated
  • Teacher/Administrator Evaluation:  Re-examine  teacher and administrator evaluation measures mandated by current NJ State teacher and administrator evaluation requirements, especially the use of  Student Growth Percentiles (SGP) and Student Growth Objectives. 
  • CTE: Advocate for comprehensive high schools’ CTE programs, which are an important component of the state’s vocational-technical education offerings
  • Partnerships: Advocate for the creative use of partnerships to move K-12 education forward, provide advantages to students and make efficient use of resources.  These partnerships can be shared services, community school type- initiatives that bring community resources to the school; CTE partnerships; dual enrollment programs, etc. 
  • School Security: Continue to advocate for the inclusion of mental health services as an integral part of school security programs.  Funding for mental health services should be allowable under any school security grant or cap waiver program.
  • Charter Schools: Revise/update charter school law to reflect changes in the educational environment. 
  •  Charter schools should meet the public interest and not harm students who don't attend the charter school
  • Relieve pressure on public school districts by allowing them to deposit unused charter school tuition funds in dedicated surplus accounts that may be used to meet district expenses the following year
  • Unfunded Mandates:  Continue to question unfunded mandates as legislation is introduced/discussed  in committee
  • Graduation Requirement: End the use of any single assessment  (or  NJ assessment cluster)  as the only assessment required for graduation. 
  • Return permanently to the system of allowing students to meet the graduation requirement by achieving certain minimum scores on any of several different alternative assessments (SAT, ACT, Accuplacer).
  • Advocate for a re-examination of the use and utility of standardized  assessments

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