Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee Advances Legislation Impacting Students & Schools

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The Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee approved several measures impacting student health, safety and financial literacy.

Financial Literacy

Legislation, A-3396 (McKnight), requiring schools to incorporate financial literacy standards into instruction for students in grades K-8 was approved by the Committee.   The bill passed out of the state Assembly in late November.  Under the bill, the state Board of Education would be required to provide curriculum and sample instructional materials to schools covering topics such as budgeting, savings, credit, debt, insurance, investment and other issues related to personal financial responsibility.

NJPSA, in concert with NJSBA and NJASA, worked with the sponsors to address some concerns with the legislation as initially drafted.   The bill would take effect immediately and first be applicable to the first full school year following enactment.

Student Nutrition

Also approved were two bills related to student feeding and that had moved through the Senate Education Committee late last month.

Fire Suppression Systems

Finally, the Committee approved legislation, A-5074 (Quijano / S-3466 (Greenstein/Diegnan) which directs the Department of Community Affairs to survey fire suppression systems in public and non-public school buildings.  The division would share the results of the survey with the Department of Education.  For each building, the survey would have to include the following information:

  1. whether a fire suppression system is installed and operational;
  2. the year in which an existing fire suppression system was installed and any year in which additional piping or standpipes were added to the system or an additional system was installed in the same structure;
  3. the cost of curing any defect if an installed fire suppression system is not fully operational; and
  4. the cost of a reinstallation or annual maintenance of a fire suppression system that is inadequate or not fully operational.

NJPSA supports the legislation.  The NJ Fire Advisory Board testified in favor of the bill when it was approved by the Assembly Education Committee late last month.

All of the above bills are expected to be approved by the full Senate in coming days and will move to the Governor desk for his consideration.