Governor Signs Majority of Vocational Package, Vetoes Bills With Funding Requirement
Governor Chris Christie signed most of a legislative package associated with strengthening vocational schools December 3, vetoing two of the measures which required funding by the State. The legislation was championed by the Assembly Speaker. NJPSA supports the package
Championed by the Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson, Bergen) as well as key members of both houses, the bill package looks to promote and expand New Jersey's vocational school programs.
The Assembly Speaker had indicated when he became the Speaker back in January that improving vocational education would be one of his top priorities, citing it as key to making sure all New Jersey students are ready for work in today's ever-changing economy.
"While many focus on college without thinking about a technical career, we have to make it clear that there are also many well-paying careers that can be launched with an industry credential or an associate's degree," said Prieto (D-Hudson, Bergen). "As we work to make sure our economy begins to grow again, employers will look to our county vocational-technical schools to meet this need. We need to make sure our students are ready to go."
The Legislation approved December 3:
- A-3334 / S-2224 (Prieto, Lagana, Oliver, Jimenez, Pintor Marin, Rible, Ruiz, Turner) – Requires New Jersey School Report Card to include indicators of student career readiness
- A-3335 / S-2225 (Prieto, Diegnan, Lampitt, Oliver, Garcia, Rible, Ruiz, Turner) – Requires preparation programs for teachers and school counselors to include programming to improve student career readiness
- A-3337 / S-2228 (Prieto, Jimenez, Lampitt, Benson, Caputo, Oliver, Rible, Ruiz, Sweeney) – Establishes four-year County Vocational School District Partnership Grant Program in DOE
- A-3338 / S-2226 (Prieto, Diegnan, Lagana, Riley, Oliver, Rible, Ruiz, Sweeney) – Allows school districts and requires public colleges to enter into dual enrollment agreements to provide college-level instruction to high school students through courses offered on college or high school campuses
- A-3339 / S-2227 (Prieto, Diegnan, Bucco, Eustace, Mainor, Oliver, Lagana, Rible, Ruiz, Sweeney) – Provides that if a career and technical education program of a school district is taught in an industry setting, off-site location will be exempt from certain State regulations
The Governor also absolute vetoed the two pieces of legislation within the package that required State funding to support the initiatives. These include:
- A-3340 / S-2229 (Prieto, Jasey, Johnson, Caride, Mosquera, Rible, Ruiz, Sweeney) – Provides additional State school aid to county vocational school districts in which enrollment increases by more than 10%
- A-3341 / S-2230 (Prieto, Diegnan, Johnson, Watson Coleman, Fuentes, Benson, Rible, Ruiz, Sweeney) Provides State aid for certain adult education programs