As if creating a budget and dealing with the state's deficit weren't enough, you'll be happy to know that our state legislators are also busy crafting other vital legislation. Here's a sample of recent bills:
A-3140 Spencer (D-29); Wagner (D-38) Requires boards of education to calculate body mass index for students in first, fourth, seventh, and tenth grades.
Oh, boy, for all those parents who feel schools intrude too far into the personal lives or home lives of students, how is this? Under this bill, we'd be calculating weight and body fat and, presumably, tracking this info over time.
A-444/S-295 Spencer (D-29), Caputo (D-28), Quijano (D-20), Rodriguez (D-33) Requires school board members to undergo criminal history background checks, and it would disqualify members convicted of any crime that would disqualify a person from working in a public school.
OK, this isn't so bad, I suppose. The NJ School Boards Association already supports disclosure of past criminal convictions by current and prospective school board members. I think it's a little annoying that the school board member would be required to pay the cost of the background check...and I certainly agree with critics who wonder why background checks wouldn't be required of charter school trustees -- or all elected officials?
A-1019/S-438 Spencer (D-29), Caputo (D-28), Quijano (D-20), Rodriguez (D-33) (passed the Assembly on June 28 by a 74-2-1 vote, and now in the Senate Education Committee) would require background checks of all school volunteers.
Yikes, can you imagine? Mandatory background checks for everyone who works at an HSA book fair, who serves cupcakes at the faculty breakfast, who checks-in books at the library, or who reads a story to kindergartners? And, of course, the cost of the fingerprinting, etc., would be borne by the volunteer! This would be difficult to implement, at best, and the hassle factor alone would definitely keep people from volunteering. Silly, if you ask me.
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