Current Legislation - Sept. 19, 2011
Aviation programs: S-536 (Kean) would allow county colleges and vocational school districts to establish aviation-related job certification and programs, providing a tax credit to corporations which donate money to establish these programs. NEJA supported this bill, which passed the Senate Education Committee and has been referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. This bill was combined with S-1720 (Van Drew).
Loan Redemption: S-1419 (Gill) would establish a loan redemption program for teachers that would allow them to redeem loans received under the New Jersey College Loans to Assist State Students Loan program through employment in New Jersey public schools. NJEA did not yet take a position on the bill, which was reported out of committee with amendments and has been referred to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.
Evaluation: The New Jersey Department of Education gave an update on its evaluation pilot program to the Senate Education Committee, informing the committee about the progress of the pilot to date. The 11 districts chosen to be in the pilot, as well as School Improvement Grant (SIG) districts will soon begin training for administrators. In addition, the DOE has established the Evaluation Pilot Advisory Committee to provide feedback. The DOE has also hired an outside evaluator who will be evaluating the pilot throughout the year.
AMISTAD COMMISSION: S-565 (Cunningham, Ruiz) This legislation would amend P.L.2002, c.75 which established the Amistad Commission to coordinate educational and other programs on slavery and African-American history. This bill allocates the Amistad Commission in but not of to the Department of Education and designates the Commissioner of Education to serve as the chair and the Secretary of State to serve as the vice-chair. The bill also requires the Department of Education to serve as the staff for the Amistad Commission.
This bill passed unanimously in the Senate Education Committee and now moves to the full Senate for consideration. NJEA supports this amendment to this legislation.