Current Legislation - Sept. 24, 2012
PILOT PROGRAM TO EXTEND LENGTH OF SCHOOL DAY OR YEAR: S-2087 (Ruiz/Turner) was released from the Senate Education Committee today by a vote of 3 to 1. The legislation creates a pilot program in which 25 school districts could opt to participate. The bill seeks to measure student achievement as a result of a longer school day or year. Funding for the program would be provided by corporate tax credits of up to $144 million over three years. NJEA testified on the bill and is working with the sponsors to include additional language that provides greater specificity regarding negotiations of the additional workload, criteria for district selection, and the parameters for measuring the data and results of the three-year program. S-2087 now heads to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.
SCHOLASTIC STUDENT SAFETY ACT: S-1912 (Madden) would implement the recommendations of the New Jersey Student Athlete Cardiac Screening Task Force. It would require all students in grades 6-12 in both public and private schools to undergo a pre-participation physical for athletics, on a form jointly developed by several health groups. In addition, it would require that all medical personnel conducting these physicals complete a Student-Athlete Cardiac Screening professional development module. The bill was released from the Senate Education Committee and is now on second reading in the Senate. NJEA supported the bill, but informed committee members that the New Jersey State School Nurses Association had some concerns regarding the bill.
TABITHA’S LAW: A-1902 (Rumana, Diegnan)/S-721 (O’Toole) passed out of the Senate Education Committee and is on second reading in the Senate. 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.
STATE FUND DISCLOSURE: S-2095 (Sarlo, Greenstein) / A-2885 (Prieto, Singleton, Sumter). The bill requires monthly updates on the condition of all major State funds and the prompt disclosure of the State’s accrued revenues by major tax compared to anticipated revenues. The bill was conditionally vetoed by the Governor. NJEA supported the bill.