The New Jersey State Board of Education convened on Wednesday, November 1, 2023 for their monthly meeting. During a mostly routine meeting, the Board passed a Resolution in recognition of Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Membership Month in New Jersey. The Board also approved for publication in the New Jersey Register, the Readoption with Amendments at N.J.A.C. 6A:3, Controversies and Disputes, pertaining to the rules establishing the procedures for the filing of petitions with the Commissioner to hear and determine all controversies and disputes arising under the school laws, in accordance with N.J.S.A. 18A:6-9. The Department’s presentation to the Board can be viewed here.
However, the State Board of Education meetings are rarely routine these days. In an unusual move, State Board Vice-President Andrew Mulvihill had requested an agenda item be added to initiate rulemaking, specifically, that the State Board “consider requesting to the Commissioner that the Department commence or initiate the rulemaking process to amend Chapter 7, Managing for Equity in Education”. Chapter 7 has become controversial since its passage in August, and a movement to reconsider the chapter has been largely driven by parents’ rights groups. There were two items in Chapter 7 that were the main topic of discussion: the reduction of time for districts to implement their equity plans from 180 to 60 days, and the guidelines for sex education classes. The revised code says that classes that are separated into different sessions must be based on gender identity, and not assigned gender at birth (as the previous code had stated). Local districts determine whether to separate the classes into separate sessions or not.
A vote taken by the Board on Mr. Mulvihill’s motion to reconsider Chapter 7 ended in a (4) to (4) tie, with one abstention (President Kathy Goldenberg). With the tie, the motion failed and Chapter 7 will stay as it was adopted in August.
The State Board of Education will meet again on December 6th, 2023.
Visit the State Board of Education website here.
Visit the Department of Education website here.