NJ Task Force Pushes End to School Over-Regulation

Thursday, 06 Sep 2012 12:33 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s education task force said Wednesday numerous changes are needed to ease government over-regulation of schools, including revising the seniority system for layoffs, ending some charter school limits, and allowing the use of public money to send students to private schools.
While the New Jersey School Boards Association and some school districts were in favor of the report, the state teachers’ union and an advocacy group for low-income students criticized it, according to the Cherry Hill Courier-Post.
Association spokesman Frank Belluscio said many current rules “consume too much time and effort on the part of school administrators that could be better directed elsewhere.”
Susan Bastnagel, a spokeswoman for the Cherry Hill school district, had a mixed reaction to the report. She said the local district supports changes that reduce unfunded mandates, but are concerned about state changes related to vouchers that would allow parents to send their children to private schools.
Union spokesman Steve Baker, representing the New Jersey Education Association, said the report is designed to back Christie’s political objectives, including a push to privatize public schools.
The task force report calls for 428 changes to regulations and 46 changes to state laws. Christie’s administration has the authority to revise regulations, but any changes in law must go through the  legislature.

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