Senate Committee passes bill giving schools boards a say in school closings

By Peggy McGlone/The Star-Ledger

Parents and community activists from Newark, Montclair and Camden testified before a state senate committee this morning in favor of a bill that requires local school boards to approve the closing of schools.

Sponsored by Sen. Ronald Rice (D-Essex), the bill was prompted by Newark Superintendent Cami Anderson’s school reorganization plan, which will move, consolidate and close several buildings in the state-controlled district, while transferring other neighborhood schools to charter schools.…

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RUSA meeting covers aid for college tuition

By Alex Meier / Associate News Editor | 0 comments

Eighty percent of Rutgers students receive state or federal aid, a statistic that spurred a conversation about the affordability of higher education at last night’s Rutgers University Student Assembly meeting in the Student Activities Center on the College Avenue campus.

Justin Habler, legislative and governing affairs chair for New Jersey United Students, and Marios Athanasiou, president of New Jersey United Students, presented NJUS’s Higher State Appropriates Campaign.…

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In Trenton, legislation redux

By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Trenton Bureau

TRENTON At the Statehouse, if at first you don’t succeed, try introducing the bill again.

Gov. Christie may have shot down hundreds of bills last session, but that didn’t stop lawmakers from moving forward Thursday with some of the same proposals. Bills brought back include one championed by the state’s top elected Democrat to form a commission on college affordability – legislation the governor opposed as redundant – and a measure to ban pig gestation crates, which are decried by animal rights groups as inhumane.

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Weeks after Christie veto, lawmakers try again to create tuition study commission

By Michael Linhorst

Governor Christie vetoed it earlier this month, declaring it redundant.

But now, in a new legislative session, a bill creating a committee to study college affordability is moving through the Legislature again. It’s exactly the same as the one Christie vetoed Jan. 13, and its supporters can’t explain how it could become law this time.

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Press release: Higher Ed Affordability Desperately Needs Study Despite Christie Veto

Contact: Nat T. Bender, nbender@aftnj.org, 908-377-0393 (c)

Faculty and staff voice support for reintroduction of bi-partisan legislation

EDISON…College and University faculty and staff are calling for passage of legislation to study college affordability for New Jersey students and families. The advocates join State Senate President Steve Sweeney who is reintroducing the measure in today’s Senate Higher Education committee meeting despite the Jan.…

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Newark council OKs sick pay for private-sector workers

By Jeff Goldman/The Star-Ledger

NEWARK — Paid sick time for private-sector employees who work in Newark is one step away from becoming a reality.

The city council this morning unanimously (5-0) passed an ordinance that would allow those workers to accrue an hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked.
[…] “Workers coming to work sick actually costs our nation $160 billion annually, far more than the cost of workers staying at home to recover,” said Karen White, director of the Working Families Program at the Rutgers Center for Women and Work in a statement.…

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National teachers union leader joins protest of Newark school makeover

By Peggy McGlone/The Star-Ledger

NEWARK — American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten returns to Newark tonight to join community members, parents and teachers to protest Superintendent Cami Anderson’s reorganization plan for the city’s schools.

The protest will coincide with the Newark Public Schools Advisory Board meeting at 6 p.m. at the First Street School. Weingarten will address the board at the meeting.

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Take Action: Tell Cami Anderson to Stop the One Newark Plan

Petition by Frank Adao, Parents Against One Newark, NJ Communities United member & Kristin Towkaniuk, Newark Students Union, NJ Communities United member.

To be delivered to Cami Anderson, State-appointed Superintendent

I stand united with parents, students, teachers, school support staff, community members and principals to take back our schools and reclaim the promise of public education in Newark.…

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Bill to Offer an Option to Give Vouchers

By Motoko Rich
[…] But teachers’ unions, school boards and other supporters of traditional public schools say vouchers undermine the schools that are already struggling to improve.

Vouchers and tax-credit scholarships have “done a tremendous amount of harm in destabilizing already austerity-filled and under-resourced schools all throughout America,” said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, the nation’s second-largest teachers’ union.…

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Join the AFTNJ Retirees

The stated purposes of the 10-year-old AFTR chapter include:

  • Supporting the aims and objectives of AFTNJ-AFT;
  • Encouraging the interest of its members in matters of pensions, annuities, social security, health care and taxes;
  • Promoting the health and welfare of its members, and;
  • Cooperating with select organizations whose aims and goals coincide with its own.

Membership in AFTR chapter 8028R is open to all retirees who were active in the AFT for at least one year.…

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No time for nostalgia: Cami Anderson’s Newark school reforms should go forward: Editorial

Newark’s student population is only a fraction of its former self — shrinking from 80,000 in 1970 to fewer than 40,000 in public schools today. Yet the number of schools in the city has hardly changed, meaning many buildings sit half-empty.

State-appointed Superintendent Cami Anderson’s new restructuring plan, One Newark, calls for closing many of the district’s failing schools and striking deals with charters to occupy many more.…

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