State Board of Education Approves the Readoption with Amendments of N.J.A.C. 6A:7 “Managing for Equality and Equity in Education” 

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-Jennie Lamon, NJPSA Assistant Director of Government Relations


On August 2nd, during their regular monthly meeting, the State Board of Education narrowly approved the readoption with amendments of N.J.A.C. 6A:7, “Managing for Equality and Equity in Education” by a vote of 6-5.  Absent readoption, or an extension by the Governor, the code was scheduled to sunset (expire) on August 29th, 2023. 


Readoption of Chapter 7 has spurred heated debate among the members of the State Board since it was first presented to the Board last December, and has generated over 900 comments from stakeholders and members of the public during the process.  The purpose of Chapter 7 is to ensure all students, regardless of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, affectional or sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, religion, disability, or socioeconomic status, are provided equal access to educational programs and services by district boards of education. 


In its presentation to the State Board, the Department of Education proposed language changes, including the use of more gender-neutral terms, such as changing “minority, female and male” to “all” students and  replacing a reference to “men and women” with the word “persons.” The amended regulations also require schools that segregate sex education classes to do so based on gender identity instead of biological sex. To clarify the expectations and responsibilities of each district board of education in providing equal access to educational activities and services, the Department of Education proposed amendments to the code that:


  • Address definitions and provisions, shifting to asset-based language aligned to applicable laws and nationally recognized evidence-based practices regarding educational equity;
  • Streamline and consolidate language throughout the chapter for clarity, alignment, and accountability;
  • Ensure that equity training is comprehensive, appropriate to all stakeholders, and adequately address inequities specific to LEAs; and
  • Remove rules or sections covered under other provisions and laws.


Prior to the vote, State Board of Education Vice-President Andy Mulvihill made a motion to vote to request the Governor to extend the current code for six more months to allow the Board more time to work on the readoption. Mulvihill’s motion was narrowly defeated by a vote of 6-5.  


The code readoption passed by the same narrow margin (with a vote of 6-5). Board members Arcelio Aponte, Elaine Bobrove, Fatimah Burnam-Watkins, Nedd Johnson, Sylvia Sylvia-Cioffi and President Kathy Goldenberg voted in favor of readoption. Board members Mary Beth Berry, Jack Fornaro, Mary Elizabeth Gazi, Joseph Ricca and Vice President Andrew Mulvihill voted against readoption of the code.  NJPSA supported the proposed readoption with amendments, as the changes made align with state and federal law. However, some of those in attendance as members of the public were visibly and audibly upset when the proposal was approved.


Also during the meeting, the State Board adopted two Resolutions: 



Both of these Resolutions were passed unanimously and without any of the divisiveness generated by the equity code. 


The State Board of Education will meet for its next monthly meeting on September 6th, 2023.  September is an Open Topic Public Testimony Session,  Public business meetings and public testimony sessions take place at the New Jersey Department of Education, 100 Riverview Plaza, Trenton, NJ. Public business meetings begin at 10 am Public testimony sessions begin at 2 pm. 

For more information about the State Board of Education, please visit or reach out to your NJPSA Government Relations team:  Director Debbie Bradley or Assistant Director Jennie Lamon