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Public Statements

Issue Position: Education

Issue Position

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MULTIPLE CHARTER SCHOOL AUTHORIZERS:

Under current law, the NJ Department of Education is the sole entity that reviews and approves charter school applications. The process is complicated and comprehensive, designed to insure that only schools which can demonstrate educational and financial capability to succeed are approved. The DOE also oversees charters, which are public schools in every respect, to insure they are meeting expectations and, if not, implement the process necessary to either fix the problem or close the school. The capacity of the DOE to perform all these tasks has been severely strained because of budget cuts.

Assemblywoman Jasey is the 1st Prime Sponsor of the Charter School Authorizer bill, a measure she has been working on for well over a year. Her efforts have included many meetings with charter and public school teachers, providers and funders, and a comprehensive hearing on authorizers before the Joint Committee on the Public Schools (JCPS) which she organized and ran in her role as Chair of the Subcommittee on School Choice. The bill, which will permit multiple authorizers, expedite the approval process, insure more thorough oversight and provide a faster process to close failing schools, is undergoing final revisions. The Assemblywoman is hopeful the bill will be considered by the Assembly Education Committee in the next several weeks.
VIRTUAL EDUCATION:

Again working through the School Choice Subcommittee, Assemblywoman Jasey chaired a comprehensive hearing involving testimony of every facet of virtual learning as a tool toward enhanced education opportunities, credit recovery and ways to reach students in the virtual world in which they are so comfortable and perform so well. Mila will be introducing a bill to expand and regulate virtual learning.

OTHER EDUCATION BILLS:

Mila's involvement in education issues began when she attended the December 2007 Assembly Budget Committee meeting, which involved seventeen (17) hours of testimony on the school funding formula. Although she did not support the initiative, believing that not a single one of her 12 communities benefitted from the proposal, she has worked tirelessly since its implementation to achieve educational parity for all our District's schools. She introduced A-356, a measure requiring legislative oversight of all secondary school redesign proposals. She fought against the proposed wholesale elimination of alternatives to the HSPT without prior notice believing that students were being punished for the lack of foresight by educators and education officials, and played a pivotal role in the eventual scale back that permitted most students to earn their high school diplomas. She introduced a bill to allow conversion of non-public schools into public charter schools (A357), which would permit non-public schools to continue to operate in their existing facilities and avoid closure of these valuable educational opportunities. She spearheaded the School Construction Bonding Act, and supports funding for charter facilities.

Mila is also currently formulating legislation to comprehensively address the issue of special education in New Jersey. She has held meetings with educators, parents and representatives of the special education community, looking for ways to insure that all students' needs are met with a view toward comprehensively addressing the problem at the local level.

Mila's overarching goal is to insure that all of New Jersey's students receive the benefit of a quality education independent of where they live or what their financial circumstances may be.

THE ANTI-BULLYING BILL OF RIGHTS ACT:
Mila is a proud prime sponsor of this critically important legislation, designed to amend and supplement the law on harassment, intimidation, and bullying in public schools. A3466 has been hailed as the most comprehensive Anti-Bullying law in the nation, and provides for training, reporting, follow up and prevention to protect our students and promote tolerance and respect. She was also a sponsor of the 2007 Anti-Bullying Law, which contained many of the initiatives that the 2010 legislation mandates. This bill has been signed by the Governor and is now New Jersey law.


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