Home About GSCS What's New Issues School Funding Coming Up
Quick Links
Meeting Schedule
NJ Legislature
Governor's Office
NJ Department of Education
State Board of Education
GSCS Testimonies
GSCS Data & Charts
Contact Us

Email: gscschools@gmail.com
Phone: 609-394-2828 (office)
             732-618-5755 (cell)

Mailing Address:
Garden State Coalition of Schools
Elisabeth Ginsburg, Executive Director
160 West State Street
Trenton, New Jersey 08608

Newsletters and More
Sign Up

The Buzz

Register Now for the GSCS Annual Meeting, May 29th, 8:30-11:30
The GSCS Annual Meeting is coming up! Join us for a keynote speech by Commissioner Repollet and a legislator/educator panel discussion moderated by John Mooney. To register, click on "More"...'
5-20-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Sweeney Delivers Seven Bills That Take on Thorny Issues in NJ Education As part of his ‘Path to Progress’ campaign, senate president presents proposals on school consolidation and special education Senate President Steve Sweeney’s education proposals took up just a few minutes in his presentation last week of 27 bills to be filed as part of his “Path to Progress” campaign...'

NJ Spotlight--Providers of Key Child Therapies Plagued by Billing System Problems Now the state wants to recoup millions that it loaned to agencies pending a fix even though billing troubles — and payment troubles — persist...'

Star Ledger--What you need to know about top Democrat’s huge N.J. plans for pensions, merging schools and more You may have heard that powerful state Senate President Stephen Sweeney is pushing more than two dozen bills he says will cure New Jersey’s fiscal ills and lower taxpayers’ bills — and that public-sector unions are not happy about it...'

NY Times--SAT Adversity Index: A Drive Toward Diversity Without Discussing Race The decision to give students who take the SAT test a numerical rating that reflects the challenges they have overcome in life is the most telling sign yet that universities across the country are searching for ways to diversify their classes without considering race or ethnicity...'

Education Week--Q&A: How to Bolster Cybersecurity in Your Schools District tech chief says internal controls are essential As Melissa Tebbenkamp sees it, promoting strong cybersecurity is as much about changing district behavior as it is about guarding against the damage any bad actor tries to inflict...'

Politics K-12 (Education Week)--These Defunded Programs Highlight What Education Lobbyists Fear the Most It's spending season on Capitol Hill, and House Democrats want billions more for schools. But that doesn't necessarily mean they're bringing back what were (to some) all the golden oldies...'

The Atlantic--The Reasoning Behind the SAT’s New ‘Disadvantage’ Score The CEO and vice president explain what they’re hoping to accomplish by factoring adversity into the standardized test...'

5-17-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Politicians Could Punt To Voters On How To Put NJ’s Fiscal House In Order Locked in bitter dispute with governor over budget, senate president proposes a referendum on cuts in public-worker benefits New Jersey voters could soon be dragged into an ongoing and increasingly bitter dispute over how best to address the biggest fiscal challenges that continue to dominate the latest state budget discussions in Trenton. Under a plan unveiled yesterday by Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester), a series of proposed public-worker benefits cuts that are designed to free up cash for other items and also ease the burden on local property-tax bills would be put before voters in the form of proposed constitutional amendments, as early as this year...'

NJ Spotlight--Lawmakers Hear From Officials About Teacher Shortage In New Jersey State officials are working to address shortfalls in the ranks of math, science, bilingual-instruction, ESL and career and technical educators There’s a teachers shortage in New Jersey. That’s according to data from the U.S. Department of Education...'

Star Ledger--A white guy asked if Hispanic kids learn American history. Now, he’s getting slammed. Jack Fornaro said he was just being “inquisitive” when he raised the question at a state Board of Education meeting. “With the demographics that you have indicated here, you know, the high population that is Hispanic, and, uh, I am just wondering, do you teach American history as a required course,” Fornaro, a state board member, asked Paterson school officials...'

Star Ledger--This tiny school district is facing a 77% cut in state aid. Here’s what it’s doing about it. The good news for residents of Logan Township is school taxes for a typical homeowner are going down by almost $10 to fund the next school year. The bad news is they are likely to give that back and then some in coming years because of a projected 77 percent cut in state funding for the K-8 district over the next six years...'

The Record—Educators, Activists Ask NJ to Dump Graduation Tests Under a 1979 state law high school students have to pass a state exam in math and English in order to graduate...'

Associated Press (via Philadelphia Inquirer)--College SAT results to include another score: Hardship in students’ lives An “adversity score” will be added to SAT college entrance test results, rating applicants on environmental factors...'

Press of Atlantic City--Sweeney group introduces 27 bills to rein in cost of government Legislative leaders introduced a 27-bill package Thursday to institute reforms called for by Senate President Steve Sweeney's 'Path to Progress' initiative, according to Senate Democrats. Legislative leaders introduced a 27-bill package Thursday to institute reforms called for by Senate President Steve Sweeney’s “Path to Progress” initiative, according to Senate Democrats...'

Education Week--Substitute Teacher Shot in Santa Fe High School Attack Says Subs Need Safety Training Flo Rice, who was a substitute teacher at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, on the day a student gunman killed 10 people, was shot multiple times in both legs. Since the shooting, Rice and her husband have advocated for substitute teachers to be included in all school safety trainings and drills...'

5-16-19 Education in the News
Star Ledger--We must stop locking up our children when they make a mistake, pastors say We need to remove the phrase “kids will be kids” from our collective lexicon. There is no doubt, kids will be kids; children as they grow up are prone to make mistakes and it is our responsibility as a community to teach, care for, and train our children. But because our criminal justice system remains so incredibly biased, kids being kids is met with the system being the system...'

Philadelphia Inquirer--Camden school district has sent layoff notices to 40 employees, fewer than expected In a cost-cutting move, the Camden school district has sent pink slips to 40 employees, including five teachers, to help close a budget gap...'

NY Times--‘It’s Like the Wild West’: Sexual Assault Victims Struggle in K-12 Schools WINCHESTER, Va. — Nausea had consumed her as her attacker pinned her arms down at a park, forced her first kiss upon her, and tried to take off her pants at the tender age of 14, and nausea resurfaced every time she saw him in the hallways of her high school. For a year, the girl had tried to convey the lingering trauma of the attack to disbelieving school officials as they investigated her claims...'

Chalkbeat--I was a white teacher who couldn’t talk about race. A journey through successful U.S. high schools changed my thinking. Sit down. Now sit up. Take off your backpack, take off your jacket, take off your hoodie. Tuck in your shirt. Get out your notebook. During my first months in the classroom, the only thing that kept me from quitting my job was the desire not to be a quitter...'

Education Week--What Do Teachers Really Want From Professional Development? Respect Too often, training sessions fail to account for teachers' experience, ignore their expertise, and use tactics that are counter to instructional best practices...'

5-15-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Legislators re-evaluate standardized student testing Lawmakers hear about possible next steps after court ruling that PARCC test is unconstitutional Standardized testing has long been held as an effective way to measure student success, but the state’s use of the PARCC exam as a graduation requirement has been the issue of debate since it was first required in 2016. Just this year, the courts ruled it unconstitutional under state law. Now, legislators are trying to determine where to go from here....'

Star Ledger—Op-Ed-The math on the formula to fund schools is backward, superintendent says. We need a better solution. There is a tremendous amount of confusion regarding the state funding formula for school aid, also known as the SFRA. It’s not as simple as taking money from the “overfunded” and giving it to the “underfunded." A cartoon May 6 portraying the so-called “overfunded” districts as a spoiled child who doesn’t want to share perpetuates a simplistic explanation of a very complex problem...'

Jersey Journal--At last minute, plan introduced to prevent most Jersey City school layoffs JERSEY CITY — Jersey City’s school board adopted its $638 million budget for 2019-20 late Monday, with a promise from Board of Education President Sudhan Thomas that the district will not fire hundreds of teachers who received layoff warnings...'

Chalkbeat--New Democratic divide on charter schools emerges, as support plummets among white Democrats There’s a sharp racial divide among Democrats on charter schools, according to national data newly released to Chalkbeat...'

Education Week--How Schools Can Spend Time More Wisely: 4 Big Tips From Daniel Pink School and district leaders love using research to decide which curriculum to adopt or what kind of professional development to offer. But educators—and professionals in just about every other field—often ignore research when it comes to thinking through how to use another precious resource: Time...'

5-14-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Jersey City, Poster Child for What’s Wrong with School-Funding Reform? The district says cuts to state aid mean teacher layoffs and canceled after-school programs, but some pols and advocates argue Jersey City has the means to end its budget shortfall...'

Jersey Journal (via NJ.com)--Hundreds protest budget cuts, planned teacher layoffs at Jersey City schools JERSEY CITY — More than 300 parents, teachers and students crowded inside School 26 on Monday night to demand Jersey City school board members find a way to avoid massive cuts to school staffing and educational programs...'

Asbury Park Press—Op-Ed--State Must Pay More for Special Education in New Jersey—Gopal The state should allocate funds from across New Jersey to assist schools with large special education programs...'

The Hechinger Report--Sending your boy to preschool is great for your grandson, new research shows Children of parents who attended a high-quality preschool program in the 1960s were better educated, healthier, better employed and more likely to stay stably married, especially if they were boys born to preschool-educated fathers...'

5-13-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--NJ Makes Move to Recruit More Men of Color as Teachers New Jersey is more diverse than the nation, yet the state’s teacher ranks are a long way from reflecting that diversity...'

NY Times--The School Photo Industry Is a Master Class in Drama Say cheese, boys and girls! Or say: big money, lawsuits, lice panics and monstrous little pyromaniacs...'

Chalkbeat--Advocacy group poured nearly $100,000 into Newark school board race The winning candidates in Newark’s recent school board race got a nearly $100,000 boost from a group backed by charter school advocates, according to new campaign filings...'

Politics K-12 (Education Week)--Can a State Just Refuse to Follow the Every Student Succeeds Act? Today's question about the Every Student Succeeds Act comes from Sheryl Santos-Hatchett, a professor of bilingual education at the University of North Texas in Dallas. It's a tricky one...'

5-9-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Overdose-Reversal Agent Scarce in Some NJ Urban Areas Naloxone more likely to be stocked by suburban drugstores, even though call for medication much higher in poorer cities Retail pharmacies in some smaller, more affluent communities in New Jersey can be nearly three times more likely to stock life-saving overdose-reversal medicines, compared with drug stores in poorer cities — where residents are at greater risk to die from opioid use...'

Philadelphia Inquirer--Long held up as a model, N.J. school funding system facing legal challenge New Jersey’s school-funding formula is held up as a model by education advocates. But the state is confronting a new legal challenge...'

Education Week--Whites, Blacks Divided on Value of Neighborhood Schools and Diversity, Survey Finds How important is it that children attend a racially and ethnically mixed school, even if it's not in their local neighborhood?...'

Politics K-12--Democrats Advance Bill to Spend Billions More on Schools. Is It Doomed to Fail? A bill to increase the U.S. Department of Education's budget by more than $4 billion is headed to the floor of the House of Representatives...'

The Hechinger Report--OPINION: The difficult discussions about gun violence that we can’t afford not to have 'Classroom conversations are one vital way to start small'...'

5-10-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Some Questions as State Expands Free Community College Program Initiative is a ‘gap filler,’ not a free ride, official says; up to 18,000 students are expected to benefit in 2019-2020 academic year...'

Star Ledger--166 teachers will be losing their jobs in this N.J. city. Their union leader wants to sue the state. The head of the Paterson teachers’ union facing massive jobs cuts is asking the school district to join a lawsuit, filed by Jersey City, challenging how the state is providing funding in some urban districts...'

Education Week--What Are Students' Constitutional Rights? Early U.S. educational philosophers linked the provision of common schools to the production of a healthy, well-informed citizenry. Although civics has lately taken a back seat to reading, math, and testing regimes, most parents probably share that goal today...'

Chalkbeat--Twice exceptional, doubly disadvantaged? How schools struggle to serve gifted students with disabilities Parents say it’s often impossible to find schools to educate bright kids who have disabilities. Now some are fighting to change that...'

The Atlantic--When Was the Last Time American Children Were So Afraid? Students used to duck and cover. Now they have lockdown drills...'

5-8-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Murphy Offers Lawmakers Both Carrot and Stick to Approve Millionaire’s Tax During town hall, governor also reveals that the state’s revenue outlook improved during the recent April tax-collection season...'

Press of Atlantic City--How do NJ's rates for autism affect educational services? In New Jersey, you’re more likely to come across a student diagnosed with autism than in any other state in the nation...'

Education Week--One Student Killed, 7 Injured in Largest-Scale School Shooting So Far This Year One student was killed and seven injured by gunfire at a Denver-area charter school Tuesday afternoon—the largest number of injuries in a school shooting so far this year, according to Education Week's school shooting tracker...'

The Hechinger Report--The promise of ‘restorative justice’ starts to falter under rigorous research Studies in Pittsburgh and Maine show difficulty of implementing trendy alternative to traditional discipline...'

5-7-19 Education in the News
Chalkbeat--Betsy DeVos praises Tennessee’s voucher program, but won’t say whether undocumented immigrants should be excluded While addressing education reporters from around the nation, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said she was “thrilled” Tennessee has passed a voucher program, and that it is up to the state to work out if immigrant and undocumented students qualify for it...'

The Hechinger Report--OPINION: Rethinking school choice policies, the ‘myth of meritocracy’ Yes, the latest college admissions scandal is relevant The fallacy of education as a level playing field is something that large swaths of the public have known for a long time...'

NPR--1A Across America: The Growing Trend Of The Four-Day School Week More and more school districts across the U.S. are embracing the four-day school week...'

5-6-19 Education in the News
NJ Spotlight--Op-Ed: Teaching LGBTQ+ History in Schools Benefits All Students ‘It is impossible to teach a comprehensive course on American or world history without including the contributions and hardships of LGBTQ+ people’...'

NY Times--A Teacher Shared Her Salary, and a Stranger Started a School Supplies Wish List After an elementary schoolteacher in Phoenix posted her salary on Facebook in March last year amid a statewide protest for more education funding, she got a lot of calls from the news media, and a lot of hate mail, too...'

Chalkbeat--Nearly a decade later, did the Common Core work? New research offers clues A 2008 report offered a dire warning: U.S. schools were falling behind their international peers. Its prescription: states should “adopt a common core of internationally benchmarked standards in math and language arts.”...'

Education Week--Battle Over Reading: Parents of Children With Dyslexia Wage Curriculum War...'

Politics K-12 (Education Week)--Here's How Education Budget Plans From Trump and House Democrats Stack Up We now have two pretty different visions for what federal education spending should look like...'

The Hechinger Report--What if we hired for skills, not degrees? The last decade has seen widespread ‘degree inflation.’ But a growing movement of employers, workers and training groups offers a rebuke to a culture that exalts a bachelor’s as the gold standard for upward mobility...'

2018 - 2019 Announcement Archives
Older Archives

The Special Education Task Force Report was released  in November 2015. GSCS, a Task Force member,  looks forward to discussion on this important topic under the Murphy administration.  See below for a link to the report.

Final Report of NJ Task Force on Improving Special Education for Public School Students


Garden State Coalition of Schools
160 W. State Street, Trenton New Jersey 08608