Senate Education Committee Takes Action on the Following Bills

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ACR 190/SCR 124 – This legislation petitions the federal government for emergency response funding to support the School reopening following COVID-19 pandemic.


S2691 – This bill requires the Division of Local Government Services to approve local unit budgets with  excess anticipated miscellaneous revenues due to COVID -19 and authorizes school districts to maintain local surplus levels at 4% for the 2020-2021 school year.


S2811 – This legislation requires that the School Report Card include information on the number of mental health professionals and school security staff employed by or contracted by school districts to serve student needs.  NJPSA was able to obtain amendments to this bill.


S2831 – NJPSA supported this legislation which seeks to expand the pool of substitute teachers available for hire by school districts. The bill establishes reciprocity rules for candidates from out-of-state to be eligible to receive their certificate of eligibility to teach in New Jersey under a few possible scenarios.


S2832 – This legislation also seeks to expand the substitute teacher pool by permitting students who are enrolled in a higher education institution, are at least age 20 and have completed at least 30 semester hours of college credits to be eligible to apply for a substitute certificate.  Currently 60 hours are required.  The bill was amended to state that local districts may add additional requirements for the employment of substitute teachers in that district.  NJPSA supported this bill but sought a limitation on its effective date to the time period of the public health emergency caused by the pandemic.


S2849 – NJPSA supported this legislation which directs the NJ Department of Agriculture to request necessary waivers from the US Department of Agriculture to provide food and meals during school closures due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.


S2852 – This bill provides that certain employees of higher education institutions cannot be denied unemployment insurance benefits under certain conditions.


S2899 – This legislation seeks to establish a Safe Remote Learning Program in the NJDOE to support the provision of remote instruction facilities by public schools.  The legislation is permissive.  It would allow  districts that are operating remotely to establish a center where students could come, in person, to a staffed location to receive their remote instruction. The center would have the technology and connectivity needed and staffing for assistance.  The center could be at the school facility or another location that the school identifies.  Safety and health requirements must be followed in the facility.  Priority space would be given to students receiving reduced priced meals under federal meals programs and students whose parents are essential employees.  The NJDOE and NJDCF would develop eligibility criteria for the staff. These centers would be funded by CARES Act funding or other funding identified by the NJDOE.


S2908 – This legislation proposes to increase child care provider payments and revise hourly limits on child care for school-aged children under subsidized child care assistance programs during the 2020- 2021 school year. The rate increases would be $28.90 for part-time providers and 48.80 per day for full-time.