From the Courier-Post:
In May, the legislation that would offer, for the first time, wide open school choice for kids trapped in habitually failing urban public schools in New Jersey, passed out of the state Senate Economic Growth Committee. . . .View the entire opinion here.
The legislation, sponsored by state Sens. Raymond Lesniak, D-Union, and Thomas Kean Jr., R-Union, was on its way to passage, right?
Not so. The bill, strongly opposed by the state teachers union, the New Jersey Education Association, stalled.
Thursday, the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee is scheduled to consider the bill for a vote. If the bill passes -- and we are urging committee members to vote for it -- it would move on to the full Senate for a vote.
How long must children from poor families in Camden, Newark and Trenton be forced to attend schools that -- year after year -- don't deliver the quality education mandated by our state Constitution? We've poured tens of billions of dollars into these schools, yet because of many factors -- social, academic, parental and other -- this money has not lifted these schools up to where they should be. . . .
By maintaing the status quo, we are punishing children by forcing them, based on nothing more than their ZIP codes, to attend schools that are, quite simply, unacceptable....
We urge the 13 members of the Budget and Appropriations Committee … to do the right thing Thursday and vote in favor of this landmark legislation that puts the best interests of poor children ahead of the interests of the NJEA.