A new year beckons a renewed set of professional resolutions. At JerseyCAN, we are focusing on promoting the ingredients for high-quality schools. In 2020, we are resolving to strengthen the teacher talent pool, uphold statewide accountability systems, secure facilities funding, and ensure stable and equitable school funding.
For nearly seven years, JerseyCAN has advocated for policy changes that promote the growth of high quality schools across our state. We have been particularly focused on expanding the number of high quality school options in communities with the greatest needs. We believe that by advocating for the key ingredients for high-quality education, we can feed the expansion of high-quality schools in our state. We are focused on four key ingredients for high-quality schools: (1) strengthening the teacher talent pool, (2) facilities funding for all public schools, (3) stable and equitable school funding, and (4) a commitment to high standards and accountability.
In 2020, JerseyCAN resolves to:
1. Strengthen the Teacher Talent Pool
The quality of the teacher is the number-one in-school influencer on student outcomes. To ensure every child in the state has access to high-quality educators, we are working with partners to understand barriers that prevent quality candidates from obtaining certification. Furthermore, we are studying the educator workforce at large and throughout the year will release a three-part series of our analysis, recommendations and policy pursuits. In 2020, JerseyCAN resolves to advance policies that ensure more high-quality educators enter the teacher pipeline through an intentional and deliberate focus on educator workforce supply and demand.
2. Secure facilities funding for all public schools
The State has not authorized new funding for school construction since 2008, and there is a real need for new facilities, rehabilitation of existing buildings, and other health and safety projects across the state. Furthermore, this problem is particularly challenging for charter and renaissance schools who have never received access to state funding or grants for school construction. In addition, to date, charters and renaissance schools have also been denied the debt service aid available to districts. In 2020, JerseyCAN resolves to advance new facilities funding for all public schools, including charter and renaissance schools, by illuminating the challenges caused by the lack of funding and advocating for additional funding. This funding must be coupled with a strategic and thoughtful state capital plan that addresses the greatest needs of students first.
3. Ensure stable and equitable school funding for all public schools.
State leaders have been working to adjust school funding to make it more equitable, and we support further efforts to continue to do so. We will also work to ensure that charters and renaissance schools receive equitable funding. Lastly, we will support transition aid for districts that are making academic improvements and have high concentrations of students in charter schools. In 2020, JeseyCAN resolves to defend stable and equitable funding for all public schools and defend against any policy changes that would impede the growth of high quality charters.
4. Uphold statewide accountability
JerseyCAN will continue to be an active voice to ensure that New Jersey procures a new statewide assessment that is aligned to our state standards and provides teachers, school leaders, and parents with objective, actionable data on student achievement We will also ensure the state upholds New Jersey’s approved ESSA plan, a direct link to the state’s federal funding. In 2020, JerseyCAN resolves to uphold statewide accountability by advocating for high-quality standards, assessment, and ESSA implementation.
As always, we will be working tirelessly to achieve these goals; as in the past, we will meet with key decision makers, convene our partners, engage with educators, question, blog, testify, present, and more….
We are so grateful for your continued support and invite you to:
- Follow us, by subscribing to our emails, or visiting JerseyCAN’s blog, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
- Supporting us, visit our donation page.
We are looking forward to working with you in 2020.
Yours in Education,
Patricia C. Morgan