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Email: gscschools@gmail.com
Phone: 609-394-2828 (office)
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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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News and Notes Monday Round-Up 4-22-19

April 22, 2019

GSCS News and Notes

Monday Round-Up

Thanks to Senator Linda Greenstein and Assemblyman Daniel Benson, both of LD-14, for providing thoughtful ideas and perspectives on the FY ’20 Budget, special education funding and other issues at our April 17th meeting.  Thanks also to GSCS Treasurer David Aderhold for hosting.


Save the Date!  GSCS Annual Meeting Wednesday, May 29, 8:30-11:30 am at the Forsgate, Monroe Township.  Confirmed keynote speakers: First Lady Tammy Murphy and DOE Commissioner Dr. Lamont Repollet.  The panel discussion will be moderated by John Mooney, founding editor of NJ Spotlight.  Invitations and registration forms have been sent to all members.  If you need additional information or registration forms, please contact gscschools@gmail.com


Focus on Member Districts

  • Bravo to Freehold Borough School district on the completion of a major construction project that will enable virtually all elementary school and middle school children who live in town to attend school in the borough as of September.
  • A round of applause to Marlboro Middle School whose Chorale and Wind Ensembles won gold medals in a recent youth music competition in New York City.  The MMS Jazz Band took a silver medal in the same event.
  • Congratulations to the Maywood Abilities Program (MAP), whose recent Shine Blue Autism Awareness Fundraiser raised over $1,081 to support all three MAP classrooms and Autism New Jersey.

(All GSCS member districts accomplish great things every day, but if you would like to be featured in the "Focus on Member Districts", e-mail Betsy Ginsburg at gscschools@gmail.com)


FY ’20 Budget Hearings: The Assembly Budget Committee heard testimony from DOE Commissioner Lamont Repollet and SDA Chief Lizette Delgado Polanco on Wednesday, April 10.  The DOE portions of the nearly four hour-long hearing focused on school funding (including relief for districts losing adjustment aid), assessment, and extraordinary aid for special education.  The SDA portion centered on the recent agency’s recent controversies, but also on critical needs throughout the state for school construction and renovation.  For a good summary of the hearing, click on the following links: https://www.njspotlight.com/stories/19/04/11/many-questions-and-few-answers-in-education-budget-hearing/ and https://www.njspotlight.com/stories/19/04/10/budget-committee-grills-sda-head-on-spending-and-hiring-and-firing/


  • The Senate Budget Committee will hear the same agencies on Thursday, April 30, (note date change) at 10:30 in Room 4, 1st Floor, State House Annex.  Public testimony will not be taken at this hearing, but the public may attend


Proposed By-Law Changes: At the Annual Meeting on Wednesday, May 29, 2019, members will be asked to vote on proposed changes to the GSCS By-Laws.   The changes, which have been reviewed by the GSCS Executive Committee, bring the By-Laws into line with the organization’s current practices and add a description of the Executive Director’s position.  To see a summary of the proposed changes, go to http://www.gscschools.org/gsc/What%27s%20New/Proposed%20GSCS%20By-Law%20Changes--Summary--4-19.html


District Budget Issues—Input Needed!: Many districts around the state that are losing adjustment aid are facing severe budget cuts, and efforts to address that critical situation are ongoing.  However, some member districts that are not losing aid are also facing budget shortfalls.  This may be due to spikes in healthcare, special education or other costs beyond district control.  If your district is making cuts to programs and/or staffing in order to balance the ’19-’20 budget, please let GSCS know by e-mailing us at gscschools@gmail.com.  We will use the information to help further inform our advocacy efforts as the budget process continues.



  • Weds., May 1, 2019: Monthly meeting, State Board of Education, 10 am, 1st Fl., 1 Riverview Plaza, Trenton, NJ


Feedback: GSCS thrives on member feedback. Please send your thoughts on the bills and advocacy efforts referenced above, or other pending legislation of concern, to ED Betsy Ginsburg at gscschools@gmail.com. If you wish to testify on specific legislation, let us know. We are happy to help facilitate that testimony.


Information Every Day: If you follow us on Twitter, you know that GSCS puts out the “Buzz”, a daily round-up of education-related news, including links to articles in New Jersey and national media.  We also post the “Buzz” on our homepage.  Check it out!


The proposed meeting schedule for ’19-’20 is now available at http://www.gscschools.org/gsc/Coming%20Up/GSCS%20Meetings%20CALENDAR%202018--2019%20and%20Proposed%20%2719-%2720%20Calendar.html/_top


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

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