TABITHA’S LAW: A-1902 (Rumana, Diegnan) was reported out of the Assembly Education Committee and is now on second reading in the Assembly. NJEA supported this bill that 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.
SPECIAL EDUCATION STABILITY: A-2739 (Benson, Wagner). This bill, which was reported out of the Assembly Education Committee with amendments, would direct the State Board to promulgate regulations requiring school districts to develop a plan to establish stability in special education programming, particularly when it comes to location of service, curriculum and staffing. NJEA worked with the sponsor to clarify language to strengthen the bill. NJEA supports this bill, which is now on second reading in the Assembly.
VIRTUAL CHARTER SCHOOL MORATORIUM: A-3105 (Diegnan, Johnson, Greenwald,Vainieri Huttle, Conaway). On June 14, the Assembly Education Committee released this bill, which would establish a 12-month moratorium on the formation of any virtual charter school in New Jersey. The bill would also set up the Virtual Charter School Task Force to consider, among other things, whether virtual charter schools should exist in New Jersey and whether there is any statutory or regulatory authority for such schools. The task force must issue its report and recommendations to the Legislature by March 1, 2013. The bill was reported out of the Assembly Education Committee and is on second reading in the Assembly. NJEA testified in support of the bill.
TEACHING LICENSE FOR MILITARY SPOUSE: A-2892 (Diegnan, Burzichelli, Tucker, Wisniewski) The bill would allow spouses of members of the military who are assigned duty in New Jersey to receive a temporary teaching license. The bill is part of a larger package of bills to help military spouses. NJEA took no position on this bill, but did explain licensing rules to the committee, and is working to amend the bill. The bill passed the Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
TENURE AND EVALUATION: A-3060 (Diegnan, Jasey, Caputo, Watson Coleman, Coughlin) NJEA supported this bill, which would increase the length of time to receive tenure, change the evaluation system, and send tenure cases to arbitration through PERC. This bill is similar to many of NJEA’s proposals and worked closely with the sponsor. The bill was reported out of the Assembly Education Committee and is on second reading in the Assembly.
RESOLUTION ON VETERANS’ EDUCATION BENEFITS: ACR-124 (McHose, Munoz, Gove, Singleton, Tucker) was reported out of the Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee. NJEA supports this concurrent resolution which urges the President and Congress to enact legislation that permits all veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to transfer their education benefits to dependents. Under current law, only those who served on or after August 1, 2009 have the ability to transfer benefits to their dependents.
“TEEN DATING VIOLENCE AWARENESS & PROTECTION MONTH”: SJR-24 (Codey) passed out of the Assembly Women and Children Committee and is now on second reading in the Assembly. This resolution designates February of each year as “Teen Dating Violence Awareness & Protection Month” in New Jersey. NJEA supports this legislation.