Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone. Most of you are probably already having remote school, and if not, you will be tomorrow. Based upon Facebook, it appears the general public finally has an appreciation of what educators do daily. If you’re not on Facebook, or have missed it, check out Shonda Rhimes’ (Grey’s Anatomy producer, among other things) tweet.
Yesterday, the Assembly had a brief session dedicated to bills to handle COVID-19. Thursday, the Senate is supposed to do the same. The Assembly passed a bill that would allow remote instruction in schools to count toward the 180-day requirement. Other school-related bills they passed provide extra money for school cleaning, technology and meals for students. The Assembly also passed bills to provide health insurance coverage for COVID-19 related issues and to help workers who are either quarantined or whose businesses close because of the pandemic. In addition, the Assembly passed a bill to allow public bodies, such as the legislature, to conduct business electronically. Yesterday’s bills were introduced and passed and the final version of them is not yet available.
After Thursday’s session, we do not know when the legislature will be meeting next. Budget hearings for executive agencies would have begun in April, but we do not know how the legislature plans to handle its meetings going forward.
Just eight days ago (it seems much longer), NJEA President Marie Blistan and Senate President Steve Sweeney announced an agreement on health insurance. Well, that bill was introduced yesterday. While the text is not yet (as of this writing) available online, you can read about it here.
Feeling stressed? Go outside and take a walk, or try calling AID-NJEA, 866-AID-NJEA (866-243-6532), a toll-free help line, based out of Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care, available for professional and personal concerns