Long-standing teacher shortages could hamper learning gains

BY: - September 16, 2021

New Jersey has for years faced a dearth of teachers in certain subjects, shortages that could represent a pressing threat as the state moves to combat learning loss incurred during the pandemic. Some shortages are long-standing. The U.S. Department of Education has reported a scarcity of English as a second language, special education, and foreign […]

Universal pre-K, free community college included in sweeping reconciliation bill

BY: - September 13, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House Education & Labor Committee on Friday finished a marathon markup of legislation that would provide universal pre-K education, expand federal Pell Grants for college students and institute two years of free community college. The $761 billion measure, approved on a party-line 28-22 vote, will be combined with other pieces of Democrats’ giant […]

Anti-vaccine group seeks judge’s recusal from Rutgers mandate case

BY: - September 9, 2021

Rutgers students and an anti-vaccine group suing the university in an attempt to override its vaccine mandate asked a U.S. District Court judge to recuse himself from the lawsuit, charging his time as a part-time Rutgers lecturer risks the appearance of a conflict. The suit, lodged last month by 12 current or future Rutgers students […]

Activists worry new LGBTQ curriculum is not being taught in most schools

BY: - September 7, 2021

With some New Jersey classrooms re-opening to students this week, activists who championed a law mandating school districts develop an LGBTQ curriculum say they are focusing on ensuring the state’s 600 districts are teaching the lessons required by the law. Schools should have already integrated the curriculum that teaches the historical and societal contributions of […]

Teachers meet school year with excitement, fear

BY: - September 6, 2021

There’s a current of fear beneath the excitement educators typically feel when they return to classrooms in early September. The cause is clear: COVID-19. “People are worried. you don’t want to give it to a young one. You don’t want to give it to an elderly grandparent,” said Sean Spiller, president of the New Jersey […]

State to provide $267M in school virus testing grants

BY: - September 3, 2021

School districts around the state will receive $267 million in state aid to stand up virus testing programs as the school year begins, Gov. Phil Murphy announced this week. The funds, which state officials expect will be reimbursed using federal dollars made available under the CARES Act and American Rescue Plan, will allow schools to […]

Judges deny school districts’ appeal for changes to funding formula

BY: - September 1, 2021

A three-judge panel shot down an appeal lodged by school boards in three shore counties seeking to tweak the school funding formula lawmakers approved in 2018. The school boards — including those in Brick, Jackson, Freehold, and others — sought to regain state aid lost under the funding formula changes. But the appellate panel denied the […]

Calls grow for vaccine mandate in child care centers

BY: - August 27, 2021

Gov. Phil Murphy’s new executive order requiring the state’s teachers be vaccinated or submit to weekly COVID-19 tests has a blind spot. The mandate imposed by Monday’s order extends to public and private preschools associated with a school board, but it does not cover licensed child care centers that don’t share such affiliations. Advocates said that […]

School employees must vaccinate by Oct. 18 or submit to weekly tests

BY: - August 23, 2021

School faculty and staff workers must complete a vaccine regiment by Oct. 18 or submit to between one and two COVID-19 tests each week, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday. The new mandate, which will also apply to state workers, may be the most expansive New Jersey has yet seen. Some workers in health care, corrections, […]

Most voters support school mask, vaccine mandates, poll finds

BY: - August 23, 2021

New Jersey voters support requiring masking in schools, and just over half support mandating children over the age of 12 take the vaccine to attend in-person classes, a Monmouth University poll released Monday found. Two-thirds of respondents, 67%, told pollsters they backed the schools mask mandate Gov. Phil Murphy announced in early August. Under those […]

As childhood hunger rises, calls grow for free meals in schools for all

BY: - August 18, 2021

Before the pandemic, Angeline Dean arranged a field trip to the Trenton Statehouse for students — mostly kids of color — to see lawmakers who looked like them in action. The community organizer hoped the trip would inspire them to dream grand futures for themselves. One child had a question. “He asked: ‘Will there be […]

Murphy: Decision on school vaccine mandate to come before end of August

BY: - August 10, 2021

Gov. Phil Murphy expects to issue guidance on immunization requirements in schools before the end of August, he said at a press briefing Monday. “My guess is in the next two or three weeks, we’ll have something that we’ll be able to put out there,” Murphy said, adding his administration is working on the issue. […]