NJASA has a long and proud tradition of advocating for children and preparing leaders to steer schools and districts in the direction of positive futures. The children of New Jersey represent the future of our great state, our nation, and our world. We, as educational leaders, have the responsibility to effectively educate all students through our public education system.
Our critics will comment that "The Best ROI – Our Children" is a self-promoting sound byte that only serves the special interests of education leaders.
Well, I am here to tell them they are wrong!
I suggest they visit a kindergarten class and observe the students’ excitement and eagerness to learn. Then ask them, "Do you ever wonder if one of these bright, energetic students will someday discover the cure for Alzheimer's, the most common form of dementia, or possibly craft the solution to Global Warming?"
If, we as a society do not invest in the education of our children, where will our next generation of doctors, educators, elected representatives, and scientists gain the knowledge and skill set to lead us into the future?
It is disheartening that the Governor’s FY 2018 Budget of $35.5 billion does not value our children as "The Best ROI."
In reviewing the State of New Jersey FY18 Budget Presentation, February 28, 2017, the Governor’s seven-year record of flat funding under the 2-percent tax levy cap continues to exacerbate the financial difficulties which school districts have been wrestling.
Additionally, New Jersey’s shrinking revenue base - due to tax decreases - has placed the fiscal stability of school districts in greater peril.
Yes, the overall FY 2018 recommendation increases funding for pension contributions and post retirement health benefits; however, the funding for operating school districts remains flat.
But, what does flat funding mean for students, parents, schools, educators and taxpayers?
School parents and students will be faced with diminished programs and requests for greater out-of-pocket contributions for athletics and co-curricular activities.
The costs of educating students and operating a school district increase on an annual basis. And expenses for providing for special education students are rising at a faster rate than those for regular education. Districts are challenged to support increasing costs for special education students within the 2-percent cap to the tax levy.
Back in September 2016, NJASA gave its support to the school funding reform initiative by Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senator M. Teresa Ruiz, getting behind legislation that would lead to full funding for all New Jersey schools.
The Association's support followed the Senate approval of the bill, SCR-119, creating the six-member "State School Funding Aid Fairness Commission" that will develop a five-year plan increasing state aid by $100 million annually to reach full funding.
This process will produce a long overdue analysis of the school funding system and provide a way to make it better for New Jersey's schools and students.
Now six-months later, the Governor’s request to the New Jersey Legislature to design a new funding formula within the next 100 days puts greater pressure on the legislators to speed up their review and revision of the current school funding law.
NJASA's Vision 2020 plan acknowledges the need for predictable and sufficient funding to ensure world-class performance. Let’s hope that the factors noted here and the Governor's mischief don’t wreak havoc in school funding and result in less opportunity for New Jersey Public School students during the years ahead.
Chief education officers, with their experience and fiscal acumen, will continue to work with our elected officials in addressing the impact of the State’s fiscal commitment to public education.
Funding is an on ongoing issue for New Jersey’s schools and NJASA looks forward to a good-faith effort of bipartisan support by our elected officials to work together for the future of New Jersey.
Don’t Miss NJASA TECHSPO ’17, New Jersey’s Premier Educational Technology Training and Exhibition Conference for School Leaders
From 3D printing to virtual reality, there’s no limit to how technology is transforming the educational process in New Jersey’s classrooms. As technology becomes “smarter” and more interactive, school leaders need to stay informed about best practices for smart decisions on technology investment for their districts.
You’re invited to attend NJASA’s TECHSPO ‘17 on January 26–27, 2017, at Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City. TECHSPO is New Jersey’s Premier Educational Technology Training and Exhibition Conference for School Leaders. At TECHSPO ‘17, you’ll experience two days filled with formal sessions and impromptu networking opportunities to share experiences, find solutions, and discover the latest tools and resources in education today. You’ll network with 1,000+ K-12 educators, participate in any of 70+ workshops, and visit a wide array of exhibitors.
Get ready to be inspired by our keynote speakers. Matt Beaudreau will tell us how to cross the generational divide. As a professor, school administrator, athletic director, and millennial, Matt will give us insight into the upcoming generation known as Gen Z or iGen. He’ll share surprising statistics, laugh-out-loud stories, and frontline-tested strategies to bring back to your district.
We’ll also hear from Marc Prensky, who coined the term “Digital Native.” Marc is an internationally known speaker, author, and visionary who thinks that education should be more than academic learning. Education, Marc says, should be about accomplishments that improve our world. He’ll tell us how to develop a young person’s capacity to create powerful projects that do change the world.
In two action-packed days at TECHSPO ‘17, you will get new ideas and tools for this year and beyond. Workshops will cover the latest in technology and the innovative ways that districts are using it. Examples include:
You’ll also have a chance to connect with educational leaders from around the state so you can problem-solve and brainstorm when you get back to your districts.
Don’t miss your chance to take your district’s technology program to the next level! Click on the following links for the registration page, information on hotel reservations, and a waiver for overnight lodging. Together, we can conquer the challenges of technology and embrace opportunities so that students will be ready to take on their future.