Public testimony has been suspended until further notice

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It’s that time of year again.  

That rare moment on the bureaucratic calendar when the NJ State Board of Education must listen to the public – the parents and people of New Jersey. January, May, and September are the months when the public can give comments on any topic.  

However, unlike every other legislative committee hearing in Trenton, and local school board meetings across our state, the NJ State Board of Education meeting is not held in-person but behind computer screens.  

This virtual meeting format started because of Covid. It now remains in place because of their controversial decisions regarding highly sexualized learning standards and the well documented learning loss NJ students have suffered. Parents are upset and want to be heard. After I spoke with the Department of Education earlier this week, there will be no change to this off-limits meeting policy anytime in the near future.  

In their own words, “Public testimony has been suspended until further notice” 

Therefore, the New Jersey State Board of Education will continue to dictate their mandates to local communities with: 

No access for the people. 

No assembly of the people. 

No accountability to the people.  

Thankfully, strong Republican leaders introduced a bill (Senate bill 3299 and Assembly bill 4669) in November 2022 that would require the state board of education to meet in-person and make the meeting available online for those who cannot attend. Not surprisingly, the Democratic majority in Trenton does not support this commonsense bill.  

Until there is a change in leadership at the legislative level and in the governor’s office, we must use the meager means of communication that is granted to us, possibly in an obligatory manner – written testimony to be sent to the general email inbox[email protected].

I want to urge you to do two things: 

1. Write a personal email to the NJ State Board of Education respectfully expressing your disagreement and disappointment of their radical policies that impose beliefs and indoctrinate students with false and dangerous racial and gender ideologies.  

2. Sign our Action Alert to oppose them amending policy N.J.A.C. 6A:7, Managing for Equality and Equity in Education.

If amended, the statewide policy would force schools that have decided to separate students for certain Health and Physical Education lessons, to do so based on gender identity. This is particularly problematic in elementary grades that focus on biologically based puberty and physical growth and development. 

This proposed change was first discussed in the December 7, 2022, meeting and quickly turned into a contentious discussion, documented by the NJ Education Report

Shawn Hyland

Director of Advocacy

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