Amidst the Garden State finagling over the two dueling school funding plans, one offered by Gov. Christie and one offered by Senate President Steve Sweeney, NJ Spotlight speculates "whether either proposal has the political legs to get enacted."
The Press of Atlantic City looks at badly-underfunded Egg Harbor, where Sweeney visited recently to push his funding proposal. For a sense of the numbers, "under Sweeney’s plan [Egg Harbor Township] would get at least $7.8 million more in state aid immediately. But that could rise to as much as $26.8 million phased in over several years to allow for the district’s enrollment growth over time. The district currently gets about $40 million a year in state aid. Christie’s plan would distribute aid on a per-student basis, with each student worth about $6,600 in state aid. Under that plan EHT would get an extra $8.7 million per year."
John Reitmeyer at NJ Spotlight breaks down some of the threats to NJ's public pension system in the context of a panel organized by Penn Mutual Asset Management. Meanwhile, strategies to address the "going-broke Transportation Trust Fund" evade consensus.
Legislators returned from Philadelphia, reports the Asbury Park Press, "facing a deadline to pass a proposed constitutional amendment requiring the state make quarterly pension payments. The proposal, which must be passed by the state Senate by Thursday in order to appear on this November’s ballot for New Jersey voters to consider, has stalled as legislators hash out how to pay for the state’s road and bridge work."
In Clifton, PARCC opt-out rates were way down this year: The Record reports that "high school refusals saw the largest reduction, with 94 percent fewer students refusing the test." Some parents protested at a recent Board meeting, accusing the State of using "scare tactics" after last year's intense lobbying by Save Our Schools-NJ and NJEA to urge parents to refuse new Common Core-aligned assessments for their children. A parent played an audio recording at the March meeting of an exchange between a student and Dana Egreczky, senior workforce consultant of the New Jersey Chamber,
Why are you testing kids for the work force?" asked the child in the recording, which was also posted to the public Facebook page, "Clifton Says ‘No PARCCing.’"
Increasing numbers of high school students, reports MyCentralJersey, "are turning to personal tutors to help them ace honors and Advanced Placement high school courses as well as to prepare for the daunting PSAT, SAT and ACT exams." The tutors are online.
"Because sooner or later your parents are going to want you not living in their cellar. That’s really why," said Egreczky in the recording.