New Jersey Superintendents Decry the State’s “Lazy,” “Incomplete,” and “Contradictory” Guidance To Reopening Schools

The pattern was already there: New Jersey’s Department of Education, when faced complex issues, punts instead. We’ve seen this with the moribund “Charter School Act Review,” which promised clear guidance on charter school expansions and approvals; the report was never released. We’ve seen this in the DOE’s desultory attitude towards the digital divide that, three months into school closures, continues to exclude 100,000 students from accessing home instruction; Commissioner Repollet says, “we have been putting …

With Murphy In Recovery, NJEA and Sweeney Find Common Ground, Even If We’re Still Stuck With $700 Acupuncture Sessions.

“Sen. Sweeney decides what legislation can be moved,” [NJEA President Marie Blistan] said. “As you can see right now, we are standing side by side, and we are smiling.” Hard to believe, this new-found camaraderie born after NJEA leaders spent $5 million of teachers’ dues to utterly fail at ousting Senate President Steve Sweeney. Yet here they stand, arm in arm, jointly announcing a deal that, if it works as promised, will save school districts …

Is Phil Murphy Spending Too Much Time in the Italian Sun? How Else To Explain His Veto?

Maybe Phil Murphy needs to vacation in cooler climes in order to make fair decisions on school funding for New Jersey residents, already taxed to the teeth. Yet he deserves a degree of sympathy: Just how much cognitive dissonance is generated by positioning oneself as a man of the common people while sending your kids to elite boarding schools and vacationing at your 23-room mansion in Italy? Because I don’t know how else to explain …

NJEA Execs Demand Continuation of $700/Hour Acupuncture Sessions — On Your Dime.

Say NO to pension and benefit attacks! Legislation recently introduced by Senate President Steve Sweeney threatens the pensions and health benefits of NJEA members and other public employees. Instead of finding ways for the state to meet its obligations to working families, starting with a millionaires tax to restore tax fairness to New Jersey, Sen. Sweeney wants to slash benefits and make it even harder for school employees to support their families. It would be …

Who Is in the Driver’s Seat: NJEA Leaders or Phil Murphy?

Two weeks ago Governor Phil Murphy was the guest speaker at Rider University’s Rebovich Institute for Politics’ “Governing New Jersey” series.* As reported by always-reliable journalist Lea Kahn, Murphy listed three educational priorities: 1)“fully funding the pension system;” 2)”bringing health care costs down — particularly, the percentage that teachers must contribute toward their health insurance premium;”  and 3) reversing “the shocking diminution in the number of future teachers in the pipeline” while making NJ “number …

Ed Richardson (Very Quietly) Out as NJEA Executive Director.

This is a guest post by Michael Lilley, Founder and President of the Sunlight Policy Center of New Jersey, which seeks to educate residents on the way NJEA “uses their tax dollars against their own interests, secures benefits for the few over the many, and blocks needed reforms.” This was originally published on SPCNJ’s website. This month’s NJEA Review revealed that Ed Richardson is no longer the executive director of the NJEA, having been replaced by another long-time …

Senator Steve Sweeney Wrote a Letter to Ed. Comm. Lamont Repollet About Lakewood. Also, How Much Does Inzelbuch Really Make?

In August Senator Sweeney wrote a letter to Comm. Repollet asking, among other things, whether the DOE has considered auditing Lakewood, NJ’s most insolvent district, and what he thinks of Board Attorney Michael Inzelbuch’s $600,000 annual salary (plus benefits) which, he notes, is “six times higher than the national average.” The Senate President is likely displeased by the discovery made by the Asbury Park Press that Inzelbuch actually was paid $715,000 last year. David Sciarra …

Murphy’s Track Record of Appointments Is Lousy, Especially in Education. What’s Up With That?

“I don’t talk to fucking Jews,” Dye told the New Jersey Globe during a very brief telephone interview.  “Get the fuck out of here.” That’s Jeffrey Dye, the latest hiring  embarrassment for the Murphy Administration. Dye was  gifted a job in the state Department of Labor & Workforce Development even though, according to Politico, he “made numerous anti-Semitic posts on Facebook.”   Oh, by the way, Dye is also President of the Passaic branch of …

A Request from Lakewood’s Michael Inzelbuch and Some Musings.

This morning I got a call from Lakewood Public Schools attorney Michael Inzelbuch. He asked that I clarify an article in the Asbury Park Press, since corrected, that discusses how a Shared Services agreement between the Township and the district fell apart. The original deal said that the Township would take over the duties of the now-defunct Lakewood Transportation Student Authority (LTSA), which ended the year $3 million in the red despite parents of non-public …

As Goes Lakewood, So Goes New Jersey? Lakewood As a Microcosm of the Garden State.

On Monday night the Lakewood Board of Education held a public meeting that, per tradition, didn’t lack for theatrics. When Governor Phil Murphy handed his 592-page budget to the State Legislature in March, tucked into page 171 was a 63.66% increase in the form of  “provisional stabilization aid” a category that applies solely to Lakewood, far more than the funding formula allows, as well as Lakewood-only increases in special education and transportation aid. The Lakewood …