Thursday was another relatively quiet day in the statehouse for public education.  The Assembly Education Committee heard from the Department of Agriculture on school lunch programs and considered bills to ensure students don’t go hungry.  The Senate Education Committee considered bills require civics education and guaranteeing student journalists free speech rights, among others.

The legislature will meet Monday the 24th, with an Assembly voting session and Senate committees, and the budget address will be on the 25th, so stay tuned!!  There’s no agenda out yet for the 24th – the legislature usually puts its agenda out 3 days (or less) ahead of their meetings.

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Results from Thursday, Feb. 13

  • A1040 – Requires that if a school district satisfies 80% or more of the required NJ Quality Single Accountability Continuum standards in an area of district effectiveness under State intervention, the State must return that area to local control. (Support) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A1104 – “Hunger-Free Students’ Bill of Rights Act”; requires certain school meal information be provided to students’ parents; establishes protocols for identifying eligible students for meal programs; prohibits stigmatizing student with bill in arrears. (Support) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A1630 – Clarifies that school district is not required to restrict access to school meals if school meal bill is in arrears. (Support) (Reported out of committee with committee substitue, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A1631 – Requires school districts take certain actions to increase participation in free or reduced priced meal programs; prohibits shaming students with school meal bills in arrears; prohibits certain district actions in collecting unpaid school meal fees. (Support) (Combined with A1630)
  • A1632 Requires school district to establish “School Meal Fund” to assist students with school meal bill in arrears. (Support) (Reported out of committee, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • A1669 – Requires health insurers to limit copayments for insulin. (Oppose) (Reported out of committee with committee substitute, 2nd reading in Assembly)
  • S1028 – Allocates Amistad Commission in but not of DOE; requires commission to elect chairperson and appoint executive director; requires public schools to include instruction on accomplishments and contributions of African Americans to American society. (Monitor) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments; 2nd reading in Senate)
  • S1032 – Requires young children entering public schools or Head Start Programs for first time to have comprehensive eye examination completed. (Support) (Bill held)
  • S108 – Concerns speech rights of student journalists at public schools and public institutions of higher education. (Support) (Reported out of committee with committee; 2nd reading in Senate)
  • S237 – Requires new civics instruction in middle and high schools; requires school districts to use DOE’s curriculum guidelines for civics; and requires DOE to provide funding to enhance civics instruction. (Oppose) (Combined with S854)
  • S311 – Prohibits school district from denying admittance to student due to tardiness or violation of dress code or school uniform policy. (Support) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments; 2nd reading in Senate)
  • S316 – Establishes the Office of Dropout Prevention and Reengagement of Out-of-School Youth in DOE, and the Student Dropout Prevention Task Force. (Support) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments; 2nd reading in Senate)
  • S692 – Requires school districts to provide feminine hygiene products in certain public schools and requires State to pay costs. (Support) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments; 2nd reading in Senate)
  • S854 – “Laura Wooten’s Law”; Requires civics instruction in middle school; authorizes New Jersey Center for Civic Education to provide curricula, professional development and technical assistance for middle and high school civics and provides annual center funding. (Oppose) (Reported out of committee with committee substitute; 2nd reading in Senate)
  • S969 – Establishes loan redemption program for teachers in certain fields to redeem loan amounts received under New Jersey College Loans to Assist State Students Loan Program through employment in certain low performing schools. (Support) (Reported out of committee; 2nd reading in Senate)
  • S984 – Requires municipalities to share certain payments received in lieu of property taxes with school districts; informs counties and school districts of application for property tax exemption. (Support) (Reported out of committee with committee amendments; 2nd reading in Senate)

When is the Legislature meeting again?

  • Monday, February 24         Assembly and Senate Voting Session
  • Tuesday, February 25         Governor’s Budget Address
  • Tuesday, March 5               Assembly Committees and Senate Voting Session
  • Monday, March 16             Assembly and Senate Committees
  • Thursday, March 19           Assembly and Senate Committees
  • Thursday, March 26           Assembly and Senate Voting Session

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