Assembly Ed Approves Legislation

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The Assembly Education moved a number of pieces of legislation at their June 15 meeting. Among the legislation approved was a bill seeking to protect digital privacy, a measure directing districts to provide instruction on interacting with law enforcement, and legislation waiving annual teacher evaluation for certain teachers who supervise student teachers.

Student Digital Privacy

A-1272 / A-3696 (Caride / Quijano / Webber / Singleton / McKnight) – ” Student Online Personal Protection Act.”

The bill seeks to protect the personally identifiable information of a public or nonpublic school student that is not publicly available, and is created or gathered by or provided to the operator of an Internet website, online service, online application, or mobile application designed and marketed for K-12 school purposes.  Under the provisions of the bill (A-1272/ A-3696), the operator would not be allowed to:

  • engage in targeted advertising if it is based on any information that the operator has acquired because of the use of that operator’s site, service, or application for K-12 school purposes;
  • use information created or gathered by the operator’s site, service, or application, to amass a profile about a student except in furtherance of K-12 school purposes;
  • sell or rent a student’s information; or
  • disclose certain information regarding a student.

In addition to the list of prohibited practices for an operator, the bill would require an operator to perform the following actions:

  • implement and maintain reasonable security procedures and practices which are designed to protect student information from unauthorized access, destruction, use, modification, or disclosure;
  • delete within a reasonable time period a student’s information if the school district or charter school requests deletion of covered information under the control of the school district or charter school;
  • disclose, in a manner that is clear and easy to understand, the types of information that is collected or generated, the purposes for which the information is used or disclosed to third parties, and the identity of such third parties;
  • implement policies for responding to data breaches involving unauthorized acquisition of or access to personally identifiable information; and
  • delete information in a reasonable timeframe after it ceases to provide services to a school district, school, or student.

NJPSA supports the measure.

Instruction on Interacting With Law Enforcement

A-1114 (Oliver / Jasey / Tucker) – Requires school districts to provide instruction on interacting with law enforcement as part of Core Curriculum Content Standards in Social Studies.

This legislation requires school districts to provide instruction on interacting with law enforcement in a manner marked by mutual cooperation and respect as part of the implementation of the Core Curriculum Content Standards in Social Studies, beginning with the 2017-18 school year.  The instruction must provide students with information on: the role and responsibilities of  a law enforcement official in providing for public safety; and an individual’s responsibilities to comply with a  directive from a law enforcement official.

Under amendments proposed and approved during the committee today, the bill also creates a taskforce to establish curriculum and other resources for implementation of any new standards required by the bill.  NJPSA supports the measure.

Waiving Teacher Evaluation Requirement

A-336 (Singleton / Caride) – Waives annual teacher evaluation requirement for certain teachers who supervise student teachers.

Under the “Teacher Effectiveness and Accountability for the Children of New Jersey (TEACHNJ) Act,” P.L.2012, c.26 (C.18A:6-117 et al.), teachers are evaluated annually based on multiple measures, including measures of student achievement.  Under this bill, a teacher who is rated highly effective under the evaluation system for at least two consecutive evaluation periods, or is rated effective or a combination of effective and highly effective for three consecutive evaluation periods, and who accepts responsibility to supervise a student teacher in the following school year, will have the annual evaluation requirement waived during the school year in which the teacher supervises the student teacher.  A teacher whose annual evaluation requirement is waived under the bill’s provisions is not precluded from supervising a student teacher in subsequent school years.

According to the sponsors, the bill seeks to remove concerns regarding the evaluation process that a consistently effective teacher might have in accepting a student teacher.  By providing an incentive for consistently effective teachers to supervise student teachers, the bill helps ensure that our future teachers will garner real world experience from the State’s best educators.

NJPSA successfully sought several amendments to the legislation which explains that the legislation does not preclude teacher observation and which requires approval of the Chief School Administrator for a teacher to continue serving as a student teacher mentor in subsequent years. 

Other Bills

A-4983 (Caride) – Provides that public or nonpublic school employee who knowingly damages, disconnects, tampers, or interferes with operation of school emergency warning device is subject to civil penalty.

This bill provides that an employee of a public or nonpublic school who knowingly damages, disconnects, tampers, or interferes with the operation of a public or nonpublic school loudspeaker, alarm, or other emergency warning device or system will be liable to a civil penalty of $1,000 for each offense.

The bill stipulates that its provisions:

1) are not applicable to an approved maintenance or repair of a loudspeaker, alarm, or other emergency warning device or system; and

2) do not preclude the application of any other civil, administrative, or criminal remedy that may be available under any other provision of law.

NJPSA supports the measure.

A-448 (Mazzeo / Burzichelli / Lagana) – Requires New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) to require criminal history records check for person to serve as official at athletic events sanctioned by association.

This legislation requires that a criminal history records check be conducted on any person who serves as an official for an interscholastic athletics meet, game, or tournament sanctioned by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA).  Under the bill’s provisions, the association is to request the check through the Commissioner of Education.  A prospective or current official will submit his name, address, and fingerprints to the NJSIAA which will then forward this documentation to the commissioner.  The bill authorizes the commissioner to exchange fingerprint data with and receive criminal history record information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the State Bureau of Identification in the Division of State Police.

A prospective or current official would be disqualified from serving as an official for any interscholastic athletic events sanctioned by the NJSIAA if the person’s criminal history record information reveals a record of conviction for a disqualifying crime or offense.  The bill incorporates by reference the list of disqualifying crimes and offenses applicable to prospective school employees.

NJSIAA expressed some concern with the legislation as drafted as they are currently working on a criminal background check proposal.

NJPSA will keep  you posted if and when any of today’s legislation moves forward.