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 …

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 …

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 …

Internal Emails Between Lakewood Union President and Board Attorney: “Repulsive Conduct” or “Undocumented Allegations”?

For many New Jersey school districts today is opening day. What that day looks like — viewed through chromebooks, plexiglass and social-distancing, or a hybrid of the two — depends on your district’s reopening plan, which must be approved by the NJ Department of Education. According to the latest information about the 607 districts and other schools with approved plans, 354 are following a hybrid plan, 172 are going all-remote, 59 are in-person and 22 are …

New Study: Almost 40% of Parents Have Disenrolled Their Children —At Least Until It’s Safe.

Civis Analytics has been doing national research (with deep dives in Florida, Washington, Texas, Ohio, and New York) on the social, economic, and educational effects of COVID-19 in America. The research was funded by the Gates Foundation. Below are the educational results. 39.7% of parents of K-12 students across the US say that they have disenrolled their children from the school they were originally supposed to attend this year, in response to school reopening plans. …

Letter From Lakewood Attorney to Union Reps Re: Teacher Requests for Remote Instruction

This is a letter from Lakewood School Board attorney Michael Inzelbuch, sent last night to Jennifer Raike, who represents Ocean County local teacher unions, and  Keith Waldman, an attorney with Selikoff & Cohen who represents the Lakewood Education Association and the New Jersey Education Association. Inzelbucch is responding to LEA’s request for a compromise between union members’ health concerns (see here) and district demands that students attend school 5 days a week for full days. (In …

Education Law Center: DIGITAL DIVIDE A VIOLATION OF STUDENTS’ CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS

Education Law Center, which litigated the Abbott v. Burke cases, issued this statement late yesterday, informing Gov. Murphy and the State Legislature that New Jersey students’ lack of internet access and one-on-one devices necessary to access remote learning (one in five students, at last count) is a violation of their constitutional right to a “thorough and efficient” education. August 27, 2020 The State of New Jersey’s continuing failure to eliminate the digital divide for an …

NJ Parent: The Department of Education’s Reopening Plan “Says Nothing!”

A New Jersey parent emailed NJLB to express her thoughts on the New Jersey Department of Education’s management of school reopenings. At her request, this post is anonymous. A Road Back to where? In a state that touts diversity, not one document by the New Jersey Department of Education has been translated into any other language. So these high-level documents like the DOE’s reopening plan, Restart and Recovery: The Road Back, (that truly says nothing …