Stagnant State Funding Remains Overriding Concern For New Jersey Schools

By John Mooney

Education commissioner calls for dialogue between state and districts, but offers scant hope for increased aid

The inaugural year of new online tests in New Jersey schools is getting much of the attention on the education front these days.

But it’s a long-running and familiar story that may have more lasting impact: State school aid has essentially been frozen for five years – and a thaw seems unlikely anytime soon.…

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Additional Superstorm Sandy Funds Available for AFTNJ Members

After Superstorm Sandy devastated our state three years ago, AFT and AFTNJ worked to identify members who had been impacted and assist in recovery. We supported the efforts of local food banks and provided information and referrals to the organizations providing direct assistance to families impacted by the storm.

The union elected to provide direct financial support to those who suffered monetary damages due to the storm when their homes or vehicles were damaged.…

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Fragile Truce Shows Signs Of Crumbling During Newark School Board Meeting

By John Mooney

Charter-school advocates clash with teachers’ union leader, students disrupt gathering and chant ‘Cerf must go’

Protesting students disrupt yesterday’s meeting of the Newark school board.
It’s not like he had a wide berth to begin with, but the relative calm that greeted Chris Cerf’s arrival as the new superintendent of Newark schools is pretty much over.…

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‘The diplomacy is over’: Protesters blast Cerf, derail Newark meeting

NEWARK – Just three months after his appointment, it appears the welcome wagon for Superintendent of Schools Christopher Cerf has worn thin.

A meeting of the city’s School Advisory Board was derailed after members of the Newark Student Union and other activists staged a protest of Cerf, new charter school expansion and subpar conditions in traditional schools.…

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Rutgers-Camden to new students: We’ll cover all or half of tuition

By Greg Adomaitis | For NJ.com

CAMDEN — A new grant program at Rutgers University’s Camden campus will make the college tuition-free for New Jersey students whose families make less than $60,000 a year.

“Bridging the Gap” — billed as the first program of its kind among New Jersey colleges — will be open exclusively to state residents graduating from high school in 2016 and will cover half or all of tuition after students apply for federal and state grants.

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Fumbled Response To Rutgers Grade-Fixing Affects Students, Faculty Alike

By David M. Hughes

When academic standards are allowed to erode, the tallest ivory tower can look like a diploma mill

All college graduates depend on the academic reputations of their schools — the value of a degree depends on the quality and reputation of the school that awards it. A Hollywood studio is more likely to employ a 22-year-old leaving the film program considered best in the nation at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts than a peer from just about any other institution.…

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Moody’s warns of teacher pension risk to N.J. school districts under Christie plan

By Samantha Marcus, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

TRENTON — A new report from a Wall Street rating agency warns that Gov. Chris Christie’s seemingly dormant plan to overhaul government worker pension and health benefits to save the state billions of dollars could come at a risk to school districts.

If Christie’s proposed reforms don’t play out as envisioned, Moody’s Investors Service said, it could burden school districts that have few options but to raise taxes, cut costs, borrow money or spend their reserves to pay the tab for teacher pensions.…

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Rutgers Adjuncts Protest Poverty Wages at BOG

Contact: Joe Richard, AAUP-AFT Organizer, 352-246-2240, aaup@rutgersaaup.org

The union representing adjuncts at Rutgers University, the AAUP-AFT, will picket the Board of Governors meeting (B.o.G) and present the B.O.G. with a packet of letters from undergraduate students voicing their support for our PTL bargaining proposals, as well as a stack of resolutions of support from our Full-Time colleagues, passed in departments across Rutgers, and the recent vote of the Graduate Student Association to support our contract campaign.…

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Students rate N.J. professor as best in the U.S.

By Jessica Mazzola, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

MONTCLAIR — The best college professor in the nation, according to student reviews, teaches in New Jersey.

Student review website RateMyProfessors.com has released its annual “Highest Rated University Professors” list. Topping it for the 2014-15 school year, is Timothy Purnell, an adjunct in the Health Science department of Montclair State University.…

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Judge blocks N.J. pension fund trustees’ move for billions in damages from state

By S.P. Sullivan, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

TRENTON — A Superior Court judge on Thursday blocked an attempt by the trustees of New Jersey’s largest pension funds to revise their suit seeking billions of dollars from the state in light of a recent Supreme Court decision on pension payments.

The state’s highest court in June found the state had no “legally binding, enforceable obligation” to make payments into the pension system of a state trooper’s union.…

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Garfield teachers ratify agreement

By Kristie Cattafi, Staff Writer, Community News (Garfield Edition)
Garfield teachers ratified a two-year agreement with 2-percent raises for each year that was approved at the Sept. 28 board of education meeting.

In order to settle at these percentages the teachers’ union needed to restructure the previous salary guide, according to Garfield Federation of Teachers President Rob Barbier, a high school English teacher.

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AFTNJ, Professional Firefighters Association and League of Conservation Voters Endorse Zwicker for State Assembly

By Krystal Knapp

Andrew Zwicker, a Democratic candidate challenging Jack Ciaterelli and Donna Simon to represent New Jersey’s 16th Legislative District 16, has been endorsed by the Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey, which represents more than 4,000 firefighters and emergency services workers, and by the American Federation of Teachers New Jersey, which represents 32,000 members who work in schools from pre-kindergarten through university.…

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Kean University cutting jobs in reorganization plan

By Tom Haydon | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

UNION — Kean University will cut positions through a reorganization plan involving the library and two other offices that provide support services for students.

However, the number of positions that will be cut has not been determined, and a university spokeswoman said it is uncertain when the reorganization plan will be implemented.…

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