John Mooney asks, “All the stir about the state’s plans to relinquish control of Newark’s schools has raised a collateral question: What does all this mean for the other three school districts [Paterson, Jersey City, Camden] under at least partial state operation?”
NJ Spotlight reports that four new charter schools will open in September: College Achieve Central Charter School, Plainfield and North Plainfield, K-2nd grade, 5-6th grades, 346 students; Bridgeton Public Charter School, K-1st grade, 108 students; Empowerment Academy Charter School, Jersey City, K-1st grade, 198 students; International Academy of Atlantic City Charter School, Pleasantville and Atlantic City, K-3rd grade, 354 students. Here’s additional coverage at the Star-Ledger, CentralJersey, the Daily Journal, and Press of Atlantic City.
N.J. School Boards Association reports on a new bill, A-4608, that would “increase the number of arbitrators serving on the panel that determines contested cases involving tenured employees in school districts, and give the education commissioner discretion on setting arbitrator fees.“ The number of arbitrators would increase from 25 to 50 in order to accommodate “the widespread expectation that the number of tenure arbitration cases will increase in the near future,” due to N.J.’s new tenure laws that require superintendents to press tenure charges after a staff member has two consecutive years of “partially effective” and “ineffective” ratings.
And here’s NJSBA’s Frank Belluscio on last month’s sunsetting of Chapter 78, the state law that has required public employees to contribute substantially more than they’ve been accustomed to for health benefits premiums: “By ensuring that employees pay their fair share toward health benefits, Chapter 78 has saved boards of education millions of dollars, which can be applied toward educational programming and controlling property taxes,” he said. “NJSBA has called for statute to make permanent the cost-sharing provisions of Chapter 78.”
According to the U.S. Department of Education, New Jersey is one of only nineteen states that “meets requirements” for its obligations towards special education students. The other eighteen states are Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. (See Disability Scoop.) But Education Law Center issued a press release this week claiming that a special education student in Newark was deprived of services for a full year.
The Asbury Park Press reports on nepotism in Howell Public Schools.