Lakewood Lawyer: Four Cases of Covid But No Worries.

This is an (unedited) email from Lakewood school board attorney Michael Inzlebuch, who explains away four cases of coronavirus among students and staff in one of the few New Jersey districts where schools are open full-time. He also alleges that the Lakewood Education Association was planning to “endanger children’s safety” and was making “frivolous” complaints. TGIF. Update -September 18 , 2020 Last week , Friday, September 11th several members of the Lakewood school community attended the …

Princeton Public Schools Denies Staff Requests To Work Remotely And Offers Unpaid Leave

Below is a letter written to all Princeton Regional Public Schools’ staff from  Human Resources Director Michael Volpe, who says that the district is denying requests to teach from home. Instead, staff can take a one-year unpaid leave of absence. Planet Princeton’s Krystal Knapp comments, Planet Princeton asked a district spokesperson how many district teachers and staff members have requested the ability to work from home for the school year, how many were given an …

Montclair Families, “Devastated” By Remote Instruction, Demand To Be Treated As “Equal Shareholders”

This is a petition circulating among Montclair parents who oppose the district’s decision to begin the school year remotely, despite 70% of parents voting for an “in-person hybrid model.” At the bottom of the petition, signatories ask that district personnel, not MEA (Montclair Education Association, the teachers union) fulfill requests under the Open Records Act “in order to ensur[e] transparency.” This request suggests a concern that MEA may be less than forthright in supplying public …

New Jersey Governance in the Middle of a Pandemic: Run By and For NJEA

The NJEA’s investments are paying off.   New Jersey’s most powerful special interest has had a great recent run with Governor Murphy. As is well known, the NJEA was “all-in” for Phil Murphy when he ran for governor and strongly boosted his candidacy.  Since Murphy’s election, the NJEA and its public-sector union allies have pumped at least $5.5 million into New Direction New Jersey (NDNJ), the dark-money Super PAC that runs media campaigns boosting the …

New Jersey Schools Failed the Remote Learning Test in March. Here Are 3 Ways to Get September Right.

For the last two years I’ve been reporting on the disarray at the New Jersey Department of Education. Suddenly I’m not the only one. In a series running this week at Advance Media, Adam Clark describes a “system-wide breakdown last spring that failed the state’s most vulnerable children” due to a “lack of decisive action or funding” as well as the “low bar” set by the DOE. Six months after the pandemic closed schools, Clark …

Senator Ruiz Proposes Bill To Compensate For Murphy’s Underfunding of Schools

Senate Education Chair M. Teresa Ruiz introduced a budget resolution to increase school funding by $311 million, the resolution would fund the school funding formula and maintain the annual increases, which began in FY2019. Ruiz says Murphy’s school funding proposal fails to fund districts appropriately, given the myriad extra costs associated with running schools during a pandemic. “We made a commitment with the passage of S.2 to fully fund school districts within seven years. The …

Stop Trying To Indoctrinate My Kids.

My pal and colleague Erika Sanzi is chief editor of Project Forever Free, where this post first appeared. She is the mother of three school-aged sons who currently attend a district school, a charter school, and a private school—in 3 different zip codes. I really don’t need activists trying to indoctrinate my children under the guise of classroom teaching. If they are up to the challenge of providing background information, a variety of perspectives and …

More Lakewood Internal Emails: Board Attorney Accuses Union President of “Hate and Personal Bias”

That’s Gustavo Martinez of the Asbury Park Press, who has been doing a stellar job covering the latest antics at Lakewood Public School District. Currently the district is one of 59 (out of 611) open for learning full-time five-days-a-week learning, despite teachers’ pleas to adopt a hybrid schedule because, the union alleges, the district is out of compliance with New Jersey’s social distancing and hygiene rules. Martinez’s reporting appears to verify that. Among the complaints …

Keeping Track of Covid-19 Cases in NJ Public Schools.

This is a running tally of Covid-19 cases in New Jersey public schools. If you have any information, please add the district, school, the number of cases, and any other salient details — among staff and students in the comments section. Westfield High School in Union County, which had a hybrid schedule, is going all-remote after 6 students tested positive for the virus. The current reopening date for hybrid learning is October 1st. West Windsor-Plainsboro …

Senator Ruiz Reams Out NJ DOE for Lying and Lack of Leadership

A few notes from last Thursday’s State Senate Budget Committee hearing, with Interim Department of Education Commissioner Kevin Dehmer in the hot seat, poor soul. When Dehmer boasted that New Jersey public schools, for the second year in a row, were rated #1 by EdWeek (which rates schools primarily by how much the state spends per pupil), Senator Teresa Ruiz, Chair of the Senate Education Committee, shot back: New Jersey may be ‘number one’ which …