Does NJ Have Model in Place to Fix Schools Segregation?


NJ Spotlight

Former state Education Commissioner David Hespe


Could New Jersey have an answer to its school-segregation patterns already in place? Those behind an existing school-choice program are making that case, led by a prominent figure in state educational circles.

The association representing more than 100 districts in the state’s Inter-district Public School Choice Program have filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the potentially landmark challenge to the lack of diversity in New Jersey schools now before state Superior Court.

Launched in 1997, the program now has roughly 5,000 students crossing district lines voluntarily to attend public schools other than their own, in 124 districts across the state that have agreed to participate.

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Trump supporters form new N.J. political group. Is it also a sign state GOP chair may run for governor?

Posted Jan 20, 2020

A group of New Jersey Republicans with ties to President Donald Trump announced Monday they’re forming a new political committee that can take in unlimited individual and corporate donations.

It also appears to be a sign that Republican State Party Chairman Doug Steinhardt is getting closer to launching a bid for the party’s nomination for governor in 2021.

The group, Lead Right New Jersey, says it will support lower taxes, cuts to government spending, and changes in the state’s business climate.

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Trailblazer: Congressman Donald Payne Sr.

By David WildsteinJanuary 20 2020

New Jersey Globe

Rep. Donald M. Payne, Sr.


Donald Payne, Sr. (1934-2012) was the first African American to represent New Jersey in the U.S. House of Representatives.

He had run for Congress twice before winning the seat in 1988.

In 1970, Payne became the first African American to serve as president of the National Council of YMCAs.  That year, he played a key role in helping Kenneth Gibson win his bid to become the first black mayor of Newark.

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How autocracy takes hold in Trump’s America | Opinion

Posted Jan 19, 2020

By Wayne Sandholtz


Donald Trump is a few steps from becoming a new kind of autocrat — an elected one.

The typical paths to autocracy used to be through revolution or military coup. No longer.

Today’s strongmen — Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, Viktor Orban of Hungary, Vladimir Putin of Russia, Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines and others — came to power through elections and then used the institutions of government to subvert democracy and expand their own powers. Trump regularly praises the current batch of autocrats and clearly longs to rule as they do.

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Rutgers to Name Its First Black President, School Official Says



Jan. 19, 2020

Jonathan Holloway, set to become Rutgers University’s president, was a former football player at Stanford University. Credit...


Jonathan Holloway, the provost of Northwestern University, is expected to take over leadership of Rutgers University next week, becoming its first black president, a school official said on Sunday.

The decision will be announced on Tuesday, following approval by the university’s board of governors and board of trustees, the Rutgers official said, on the condition of anonymity because the hire was not yet official.

Dory Devlin, a Rutgers spokeswoman, would not comment but said that a joint meeting would take place on Tuesday to elect “an executive-level position.”

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As Newark rids city of lead pipes, suburbs are struggling to do the same

Posted Jan 17, 2020

After high lead levels and fears of faulty filters thrust New Jersey’s largest city into the national spotlight last year, city and county officials hatched a sweeping plan to replace thousands of problematic lead pipes in Newark’s water system.

But in two nearby suburbs that buy their water from Newark, work to deal with the lead is moving more slowly.

The Brick City, fueled by a $120 million county bond, has so far replaced 5,076 of its 18,000 lead service lines, and expects to replace all of the lead lines within 24 to 30 months. The garden-hose sized pipes, which connect individual properties to the water main, are the decades-old plumbing at the heart of the city’s water crisis.

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The Cory Booker President to Senate Pivot

By Fred Snowflack | January 16, 2020

Insider NJ


Cory Booker certainly knows how to pivot.

For months, the Booker camp has been sending out emails to supporters insisting – contrary to reason and fact – that his presidential campaign was alive and well.

Just send Booker a few more dollars and everything would be fine and dandy; that was the message. It seemed not to matter that the senator was now failing to qualify for debates. Ignoring that, the campaign kept on saying that Booker had tons of real people support in Iowa.

And then – it was over.

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N.J. suing Trump administration over plan to cut thousands of residents from food stamps

Posted Jan 16, 2020

New Jersey is suing the federal government over a rule change that could strip food benefits from thousands.

Currently, some adults may only receive food stamps for three months during a three-year period if they’re not working or volunteering. However, states may extend that window if residents are having a hard time finding jobs.

The new rule would make it harder for states to grant those extensions.

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Murphy Signs Nine Bills to Protect NJ’s Health Insurance Gains from Federal Attack


NJ Spotlght

Gov. Phil Murphy, left, discusses how to protect and improve the quality of health care with Hackensack Meridian Health CEO Robert C. Garrett.


Gov. Phil Murphy said a passel of new laws he just approved will help protect New Jersey residents from federal actions to undermine the Affordable Care Act, building on his administration’s ongoing efforts to claim greater responsibility for the program’s operation and oversight.

Murphy signed nine bills into law Thursday that would essentially ensure certain health insurance benefits remain in place for Garden State residents, even if the federal program is further reformed or fully repealed. The Legislature approved the Democratic measures earlier this month.

“We’re too exposed if we’re relying on an unsettled, if not hostile, reality in Washington. We have to protect ourselves,” Murphy said at an event held at Hackensack Meridian Health (HMH)’s JFK Medical Center in Edison. New Jerseyans should not “wake up one day and find out their health care has been stripped away from them.”

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Murphy says he supports removing religion as a reason to skip child vaccinations in N.J.

Posted Jan 15, 2020

Gov. Phil Murphy made it clear Wednesday that he would sign a bill into law that would no longer allow parents to cite religion as a reason to avoid getting their children the vaccinations required to attend school in New Jersey.

“If that were to come our way — I don’t talk about prospective bills in specifics — but I think we’ve given a pretty strong indication that that’s something that we would support,” the Democratic governor told reporters during an unrelated event in East Brunswick.

Murphy’s comments come two days after a planned vote on the measure (S2173) in the state Senate fell apart for the second time in a month, as hundreds of parents staged another loud protest outside the Statehouse in Trenton.

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