Murphy signs batch of education-related bills

Gov. Phil Murphy on Dec. 21 signed A2455/S2204, which establishes a pilot program to support robotics programs in school districts.

Murphy also signed the following education-related bills into law this week:

S108/A169: Concerns speech rights of student journalists at public schools and public institutions of higher education

S2834/A5312: Mandates training on culturally responsive teaching for all candidates for teaching certification

A4433/S2715: Creates grant program to encourage school districts to partner with institutions of higher education in training school-based mental health service providers

A4435/S2717: Requires Department of Children and Families to give priority to certain school districts with student mental health counseling centers in awarding grants under School Based Youth Services Program…

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N.J. Assembly passes bill for school robotics programs

By unanimous vote, the full New Jersey Assembly on Dec. 20 passed A2455, which establishes a pilot program to support robotics programs in school districts. Under this bill, up to 12 school districts would be chosen by New Jersey’s education commissioner to take part in a three-year pilot program that would encourage schools to set up robotics programs and enter into robotics competitions.…

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How U.S. teachers have handled this school year

Witnessing more violence and behavioral issues at their schools as well as reaching a degree of mental exhaustion are among the issues U.S. teachers have experienced so far this school year, write CNN’s Alisha Ebrahimji and Christina Zdanowicz.

Many of the 700 educators who responded to CNN’s inquiry about how they’re coping said “this has been the toughest year for teaching they’ve ever had,” write Ebrahimji and Zdanowicz.…

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Updated guidelines reduce quarantine for N.J. students exposed to COVID

Per updated state guidelines, students in New Jersey who’ve had close contact with COVID-positive classmates or teachers now only need to quarantine for seven days, provided they test negative on the fifth through seventh day. If no test is taken, then it’s 10 days.

N.J. Advance Media’s Kelly Heyboer takes a closer look at the rule changes.…

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AFT task force aims to address teacher, school staff shortages

The AFT on Dec. 16 launched a 23-member national task force “to tackle widespread educator and support staff shortages imperiling the future of public schools and public education,” according to a press release.

“Teachers’ working conditions are students’ learning conditions,” AFT President Randi Weingarten said in the release. “Even before COVID, nurses, guidance counselors, teachers, support staff and bus drivers were facing daunting workloads and a lack of respect.…

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AFT launches Reading Opens the World initiative

AFT President Randi Weingarten on Dec. 14 visited Malcolm X Elementary School in Washington, D.C., for the launch of Reading Opens the World, a literacy initiative to distribute 1 million free books to children nationwide.

“We gotta make sure in the aftermath of this pandemic that all kids have books at home, and that’s part of what this is,” Weingarten said.…

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Register now for Winter Educator Academy 2022

Three train-the-trainer courses are available as part of Winter Educator Academy 2022, taking place in late January at the AFT headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The dates and courses are as follows:

Jan. 21-23:

  • Content-Area Writing Instruction in the 6-12 Classroom (participant only)
  • Meeting Writing Expectations K-5 (train-the-trainer)

Jan. 28-30:

  • Creating a Supportive Learning Environment Through Social Emotional Learning (train-the-trainer)
  • Universal Design for Learning: Everyone Learns Differently (train-the-trainer)

More information on the schedule and programming can be found here.…

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