By Dino Fammio

As it’s written right now, a proposed law being considered in Trenton would provide funding to schools and districts that have plans in place to deliver extra lessons to underperforming students multiple times per week.

The “high-dosage tutoring” legislation is also meant to address an ongoing teacher shortage, according to primary sponsor Sen. Vin Gopal, D-Monmouth.

The Senate Education Committee, which Gopal chairs, received testimony on the proposal on Thursday. The bill was up for discussion only, not a vote.

“This bill is far from perfect, it’s just a start,” Gopal said.

Under the bill, the High Efficiency Accelerated Learning Grant Program would award grants on a matching basis to public or private districts that apply with adequate plans to implement high-impact tutoring programs. At a minimum, these plans must include the subjects of math and English, and include all grades being served by the district.

The tutoring could occur during or outside of school hours, the bill notes. With the funding, districts can employ tutors, from teachers and paraprofessionals, to community providers of tutoring services.

“Tutoring is so, so valuable. It certainly addresses academic concerns — we know that — but it also builds relationships between students and trusted adults,” said Paula White, executive director of the education advocacy organization JerseyCAN.

Research suggests in-school tutoring is the most robust version of high-dosage tutoring, White added.

“Optimal efficacy of high-dosage tutoring depends on the integration of such with the core curriculum in school and the NJSLA state standards that should govern this curriculum,” White said.

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