Tabitha’s Law: A-416 (Rumana, Diegnan) NJEA supported this bill that passed the Assembly Education Committee and will go to the Assembly floor for a vote (not scheduled). This bill requires parents to notify school administrators whenever their child will be absent from school, and requires administrators to contact parents whenever a pupil is absent without the parent's having provided prior notice. This bill is named after Tabitha, a young girl in Tennessee who was abducted after being dropped off at school. Her parents were unaware of the abduction and the school was unaware of her absence.
Defibrillators in schools: A-1036 (Malone, Lampitt) NJEA supported this bill that passed the Assembly Education Committee and will go to the Assembly floor for a vote (not scheduled). This bill requires each public school district to provide and maintain on-site at each school complex an automated external defibrillator. Under the bill’s provisions, the board of education of the district would determine what constitutes a school complex which could be a single public school building or a group of public school buildings. The district would make its determination based upon the grade levels of the district, distance between buildings, and the type of communication system in place in the district. The bill also provides that the school district shall arrange for training in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and the use of a defibrillator for school nurses. The bill specifies that a public school district and its employees will be immune from civil liability in accordance with current law on the use of defibrillators.
ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE CLEANERS IN SCHOOLS: A-1848 (Guscioria) NJEA did not take a position on this bill that passed the Assembly Education Committee and will go to the Assembly floor for a vote (not scheduled). This bill requires the DOE to adopt a green cleaning policy for use in schools and child care centers with 50 or more students. This policy would require the use of environmentally sensitive cleaning products in public, private and charter schools with 50 or more students, and child care centers with 50 or more students. The bill defines “environmentally sensitive cleaning product” to mean any cleaning or maintenance product that minimizes potential impacts to human health and the environment, consistent with maintaining the effectiveness of these products for the protection of the public health and safety.
Early High School Graduation Pilot: A-2654 (Gusciora, Quijano) would allow students to graduate from high school after 10th grade and attend community college. NJEA testified against this bill in the Assembly Education Committee, expressing concerns that students might not be ready, and explaining that many pathways already exist for students to take college courses in their junior and senior years of high school. Members of the committee agreed with the concerns, and the bill was held.
VETTeach Pilot Program: A-4377 (Jasey, DeAngelo) would create a pilot program at Stockton University for veterans to complete a teacher certification program in 36 months, the time they are allotted for college under their veterans’ benefits. NJEA supported this bill, which unanimously passed in the Assembly Education Committee and is now on second reading in the Assembly.
Resolution to implement baseline cognitive testing program: AR-85 (Diegnan, Giblin, Coughlin, Voss, Jasey) This resolution, which is supported by NJEA, was reported out the Assembly Education Committee with amendments and is now on second reading in both houses. This resolution urges school districts to implement baseline cognitive testing programs for student athletes and cheerleaders. A baseline or pre-season cognitive test is a pre-injury measurement of an athlete’s cognitive function. It’s vital in determining the cognitive ability of an athlete before an injury to compare their cognitive ability after the injury.