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Governor Christie has made school choice, charter schools, tenure reform, teacher evaluations, and school funding all issues that he plans to address this year. Change in education seems almost certain. What change will boards of education and school districts embrace? What change will boards of education and school districts oppose? NJSBA President Ray Wiss will join host Ray Pinney as they discuss the issues being debated at the state level. Feel free to join in on the conversation too by calling in with your questions.
It has been more than two years since the tragic school shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. This tragedy caused New Jersey school districts to analyze their own school security policies and procedures. NJSBA formed a School Security Task Force, which studied the issue intensely. While there are no one-size-fits-all answers to school security, there are important findings and recommendations that all school districts can use. Please join host Ray Pinney as he discusses the task force’s findings with its two co-chairs, Donald Webster Jr. and Raymond Wiss, along with task force member Brandon Pugh.
One of the key responsibilities of a school board member is negotiating the contract for teachers and staff. It is, by far, the place where most of the district’s financial resources are allocated; as well it establishes other protocols which affect student achievement. Each year brings new challenges. In 2015, what are those challenges? How should boards approach the Chapter 78 health benefit reform legislation? What is the importance of average settlement rates? How long can a district expect negotiations to take? What are some common misperceptions the public has about negotiations? Please join host Ray Pinney as he discusses these and other issues with Patrick Duncan, Manager of NJSBA Labor Relations Department.
Next month school districts across New Jersey will begin administering the PARCC (Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) tests. What are these tests and how are they different from previous state assessments? How have school districts prepared for these tests? Please join host Ray Pinney, NJSBA director of county activities and member engagement, as he discusses these and other questions about PARCC with Dr. Robert Price, director of curriculum and instruction for the Northern Valley Schools Consortium, and Debra Johnson Dahrouge, an English teacher from Neptune High School.
Governor Christie has given his State of the State speech and the political and legislative wheels in New Jersey are now in motion. How will the political landscape affect school districts in New Jersey? What educational issues may see movement in the legislature? What is the forecast if there is one for the state budget? Please join host Ray Pinney as he discusses these issues NJSBA Director of Governmental Relations , Michael Vrancik.
Transgender issues have been grabbing the headlines lately, and this subject is one that school districts must deal with in a very practical way. Districts must follow legal guidelines and policy when dealing with this topic to preserve student and staff rights and safety within an inclusive learning environment. Join host Ray Pinney as he discusses transgender issues in public schools with three attorneys who have dealt with these questions from different angles: Robyn Gigl from Stein, McGuire, Pantages & Gigl; Luanne Peterpaul, who is with Gluck Walrath; and Teresa Moore, with Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti, LLP.
Recently the School Ethics Commission released several advisory opinions which impact the designation of which board members can participate in labor negotiations, as well as in personnel matters. In addition, are there volunteer activities board members may need to shy away from? Please join host Ray Pinney as he discusses these and other important issues with Joanne Restivo, acting executive director of the School Ethics Commission, and Robert Bender and Mark Finkelstein, commission members.
The School Ethics Commission has recently released 36 new advisory opinions that give school board members new guidance in numerous areas when they carry out their duties. Whether it involves superintendent search, involvement in negotiations, participation in employment decisions, board member speech or other items these advisory opinions are important for all board members to be aware of. Please join host Ray Pinney as he discusses these recent rulings with Michael Kaelber, Director of NJSBA’s Legal, Policy and Labor Relations Department along with John Burns, NJSBA Counsel.
Election Day is almost here and soon many people will go from being a school board candidate to a school board member. Once elected what should the new board member be prepared for? What is your legal responsibility? How do you get information to make informed decisions? What is the relationship between the board and the superintendent? Please join host Ray Pinney as he discusses these and other issues about being a newly elected board member with Michael Kaleber, NJSBA Legal Department and Terri Lewis, NJSBA Field Service Representative. If you are a school board candidate this program will help you be prepared for your first meeting.
Governor Christie will be making his state budget address on February 21st and in addition his education reform agenda is being discussed in the statehouse. What is the impact of the state budget on New Jersey’s school districts? Will tenure reform move in this legislative session? What school choice issues will move if any this session? What are the thoughts of two of the leading education groups in New Jersey one representing the school boards and the other the teachers. Please join host Ray Pinney as he discusses these issues NJSBA Director of Governmental Relations Michael Vrancik and NJEA Director of Government Relations Ginger Gold Schnitzer.
Special Education has consistently been a difficult challenge for school districts, both programmatically and financially. In times when financial resources are limited yet academic expectations high, it can sometimes split a community.
To identify ways to control cost, while preserving the quality of special education, NJSBA created the Special Education Task Force in January 2013. The task force spent over a year, consulting with more than 25 experts in special education and reviewing the literature on the delivery and financing of special education services, with a special focus on academic achievement.
The resulting report of the Special Education Task Force, “Special Education: A Service, Not a Place,” includes recommendations for strategies to improve delivery of services and control costs. Please join host Ray Pinney as he discusses the report’s findings with the task force chair Dr. Gerald Vernotica, along with task force members Michael Lee and Irene LeFebvre.
The reorganization meeting is the first meeting of the new board, and important business is conducted. New board members are sworn in, and typically the board leadership is decided. What actions does a board need to make at this meeting? What occurs if the board cannot come to a decision on items such as who should be board president? How is a board reorganization in January different than one in April? Please join host Ray Pinney as he discusses these and other issues with Theresa Lewis, an NJSBA Field Service Representative and Michael Kaelber, Director of NJSBA’s Legal and Policy Department.
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