Raritan Valley college, teachers agree to new contract

By Mike Deak

BRANCHBURG – Faculty members at Raritan Valley Community College will be receiving a 2 percent salary increase, plus a one-time $500 bonus, for the 2014-15 school year under the terms of a contract approved earlier this month.

The agreement was reached nearly a year after negotiations began on the one-year contract.

That also means that negotiations on a new contract may begin next month, said Maria DeFillipis, president of the Raritan Valley Faculty Federation.…

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Change may be difficult, but One Newark plan is worthwhile: Opinion

By Cami Anderson

I recently had an opportunity to engage with state legislators on a range of topics affecting students in Newark. I sincerely appreciated a forum where decorum was upheld, questions could be answered, and tough, frank dialogue could occur. Our children’s lives depend on our ability to deliver radically better results than we have to date.…

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Jasey appointed chair of Assembly Higher Education Committee

By Chase Brush

Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) announced on Friday that he’s appointed Assemblywoman Mila M. Jasey (D-27) as the new chairperson of the Assembly Higher Education Committee.

Jasey replaces former Higher Education Chair Celeste Riley (D-3), who left the Assembly this year to serve as the Cumberland County clerk.

Jasey, of South Orange, was first sworn into the New Jersey General Assembly in 2007, and before joining served as a member of the South Orange/Maplewood Board of Education for three terms, including two years as President.…

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State Spending on Higher Education Inches Up, but Fiscal Pitfalls Remain

By Eric Kelderman

An annual report on state spending on higher education is mostly good news, at least for the fiscal year just past.

But widen the lens, and the focus muddies: Half of the states are still appropriating less for higher education than they did five years ago.

And the prospects for future spending are clouded by falling oil prices and state lawmakers’ resistance to raising taxes.…

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How did N.J. get into this pension mess?

By Samantha Marcus, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

TRENTON — Some 800,000 people, working and retired, are beneficiaries of New Jersey’s pension system, a collection of funds going deeper into the red.

It’s a system that Gov. Chris Christie, in his State of the State address last week, called “an insatiable beast.”

In boom years, New Jersey leaders shortchanged the pension system, and those “sins of the past,” Christie said, “have made the system unaffordable.”…

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6 N.J. governors, including Chris Christie, are to blame for state’s pension crisis: Opinion

By Sean Rutherford

New Jersey’s state pension fund is going broke. Apparently, in 10 years the fund will be empty and those belonging to the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) and the Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund (TPAF) will be out of luck. And when you ask any politician why this is happening, we get variations of this response: “The state’s public employees are bankrupting us with their salaries and benefits plans.”…

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Baraka asks for Newark superintendent’s resignation — again

By Naomi Nix, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

NEWARK — After Newark superintendent Cami Anderson’s contentious meeting with state lawmakers last week, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka is once again calling for her resignation.

Baraka released a Jan. 12 letter he sent to Anderson, asking the state-appointed superintendent to resign because of her “blatant disregard” for the Newark community she serves.…

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Montclair State’s bird-brained idea: Editorial

By Star-Ledger Editorial Board

It costs $11,000 in tuition to attend Montclair State University each year, which is a sizable chunk of change for most people who thought state colleges were the affordable alternative.

So it was baffling that the taxpayer-supported institution thought it would be prudent to spend $210,000 on a 12-foot statue of its Red Hawk mascot, and given the negative reaction you read about it online and a high volume of alumni feedback, it might be time for Montclair to reconsider the project.…

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Comptroller investigating $219K table

By Cheryl Hehl, Staff Writer

The New Jersey State Comptroller’s Office is reportedly looking into Kean’s purchase of a conference table for $219,000.

UNION COUNTY, NJ — The state agency charged with overseeing waste and financial misconduct of taxpayer dollars is looking into whether Kean University followed the proper procedures when purchasing a $219,000 conference table from a company in China.…

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To fix higher education, make it more practical

By Jonathan Lai

A Stockton College project that studied the state’s public higher education system for more than a year concluded that colleges should add more practical skills.

Recommendations from the Higher Education Strategic Information and Governance project include expanding dual enrollment programs for high school students to earn college credit, offering more internship and on-the-job study programs for current students, and granting credit for nonacademic work experience to potential students.…

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5 questions for education comissioner David Hespe on Newark schools

By Naomi Nix, NJ Advance Media

NEWARK — Last week was tumultuous one for Newark public schools superintendent Cami Anderson after lawmakers grilled her on the district’s controversial reorganization plan as well as her relationship with residents and civic leaders.

NJ Advance Media spent a little time talking with State Education Commissioner David Hespe about Anderson’s meeting with lawmakers and other issues facing the superintendent.…

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Rutgers Professor Faces Ethics Complaint

By Briana Vannozzi, Correspondent

The ethics complaint stems from research reports written by Rutgers professor Dr. Julia Sass Rubin.

“She has repeatedly and knowingly used her associate professor position at Rutgers University to add credibility to the argument which she’s making on behalf of this organization she founded,” said New Jersey Charter Schools Association Spokesperson Michael Turner.…

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