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 […]

Murphy’s budget plan adds millions in K-12 school aid, expands free preschool

BY: - March 10, 2022

New Jersey schools would get an extra $650 million in state funding and millions more to expand free preschool under the $48.9 billion budget proposal Gov. Phil Murphy announced this week. Murphy’s plan would boost K-12 funding to almost $19.2 billion. The governor detailed his school spending plan during a visit Thursday to James Monroe […]

Bill would require N.J schools to accept donations for school lunches

BY: - March 10, 2022

New Jersey schools would be required to establish “school meal funds” to help students buy food in school or to pay down a student’s lunch debt under a bill a Senate committee will hear Thursday. Under the measure (S1661), money from the fund would be used only to help pay for students’ breakfasts or lunches, […]

Bill advances that would eliminate a ‘burdensome’ test for would-be teachers

BY: - March 8, 2022

To become a public school teacher in New Jersey, you have to obtain a bachelor’s degree, complete a teacher preparation program, student teach for at least 12 weeks, and pass at least one Praxis exam. You also must pass a performance-based test known as edTPA, which requires turning in a portfolio of lesson plans, video […]

School mask mandate ends in N.J. as debate over masking continues

BY: and - March 7, 2022

Monday morning marked the first time in two years Heather Schwarz walked into a Hazlet school building without her mask on. Schwarz, curriculum director for the 2,800-student district, told the New Jersey Monitor she thinks — after nearly two years of forced masking — everyone is ready to decide on their own whether to mask […]

N.J. school segegration case in judge’s hands after hearing

BY: - March 3, 2022

A potentially historic case that could determine whether New Jersey’s schools are unconstitutionally segregated now lies in the hands of Superior Court Judge Robert Lougy, who declined to make a decision Thursday after hearing nearly three hours of arguments. Lawyers focused on a motion filed by plaintiffs requesting Lougy decide schools are unconstitutionally segregated, rather […]

N.J.’s school segregation lawsuit returns to court this week

BY: - March 2, 2022

A lawsuit hinging on a study that found New Jersey schools are some of the most segregated in the country will return to the courtroom this week, with plaintiffs hoping for a major shift in state policies regulating where children attend school. The lawsuit claims New Jersey’s requirement that public school students attend schools in […]