College presidents urge lawmakers to expand higher education aid

BY: - April 26, 2022

New Jersey’s public colleges and universities need more state funding to counter long-standing deficiencies in how the state funds higher education and to offset challenges the pandemic created, several university presidents told lawmakers Monday. The presidents, who appeared before the Assembly’s budget committee, said despite Gov. Phil Murphy’s plans to boost state aid for higher […]

Gender identity a lightning rod in N.J. sex ed curriculum debate

BY: - April 22, 2022

Avery Heimann knew before they even started school that they were queer. Their classmates caught on to their difference immediately and were not kind. “From kindergarten to fifth grade, when my parents pulled me out of public school and put me into a private school, it was nonstop bullying,” Heimann remembered. As unwelcome as that […]

Education advocates praise boosted school aid, but some worry over cuts

BY: - April 22, 2022

Lawmakers on the Senate Budget Committee heard praise Thursday for Gov. Phil Murphy’s plan to boost state school aid, but they also heard familiar complaints about how changes to New Jersey’s school funding formula impacted some districts. The governor’s $48.9 billion budget proposal, announced in March, provides for an extra $650 million in state funding […]

Sex-ed curriculum controversy inspires bill intended to increase transparency

BY: - April 20, 2022

With the furor still in full-swing over New Jersey’s new school standards on health and sex education, one state lawmaker said Tuesday he’ll introduce legislation intended to increase transparency and squash “misinformation and false claims.” Schools would be required to post all curriculum to district websites two weeks before the start of the school year […]

As judge mulls school segregation case, lawmakers look at potential solutions

BY: - April 18, 2022

The biggest difference Kelly Ribeiro saw when she switched schools was how people reacted to the Brazilian cuisine her mom packed for her lunch. At Roosevelt Middle School in Lyndhurst, kids would make fun of her for the way her food smelled or tease her for the way it looked. She asked her mom to […]

LGBTQ community, people of color in the crosshairs of banned book movement

BY: - April 18, 2022

Students in one Pennsylvania school district are not allowed to read a biography of the first Black President, Barack Obama.  In some Tennessee classrooms, a nonfiction comic book about the atrocities of the Holocaust is banned. And one school district in Wisconsin banned from libraries a picture book about a gay rights activist who was […]

New sex education standards become target in N.J.

BY: - April 14, 2022

Last year, Scott Shields hired a painter for his house who was a transgender man. When his two children unknowingly misgendered the painter, Shields pulled them aside to explain pronouns. His children, who are in kindergarten and third grade, had already been introduced to different genders, so they grasped the concept easily, he said. “Once […]

Governor Murphy says state will clarify sex education standards that riled GOP

BY: - April 13, 2022

As the uproar surrounding the state’s new sex education standards intensifies among some parents, Republican lawmakers, and conservative media, Gov. Phil Murphy defended the standards Wednesday but said the state will clarify what children will be learning in public schools starting in the fall. Murphy blamed the controversy on partisan actors attempting to divide parents. […]

Absenteeism grew in schools during last school year, education officials say

BY: - April 7, 2022

New data released by state education officials shows the debilitating impact of the pandemic in the last school year, with chronic absenteeism up and postsecondary enrollment flat. The state Department of Education released school performance reports for the 2020-21 school year on Wednesday, with some key performance indicators missing — another impact of the pandemic. […]

Lawmakers want N.J. high schools to start classes no earlier than 8:30 a.m.

BY: - March 28, 2022

Dan Cassino starts getting his son ready for school around 7 a.m., and they leave their Glen Ridge home at 8 to get to school before the bell rings at 8:30. But next year, Cassino’s son is starting high school, where the first classes begin at 8 a.m., meaning they’ll have to get started even […]

Advocates call on Legislature to desegregate N.J. schools

BY: - March 24, 2022

It could be months before a Superior Court judge decides whether New Jersey schools are unconstitutionally segregated, but state lawmakers are already hearing potential solutions to the problem from activists who want to revamp how the state educates its children.  The Joint Commission on the Public Schools convened Wednesday to hear from school officials and […]

Lawmakers hear pleas for increased focus on mental health of students

BY: - March 15, 2022

Amy Kennedy received a call this week that a former student of hers had died after a drug overdose. The funeral will be the third in the past six months for students she taught while she was a public school teacher, Kennedy said Monday as she urged lawmakers to take immediate steps to address the […]