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Contact: Chris Sivel / (609) 847-3600
August 7, 2023
Bucco & Testa Plan to Introduce a Bill to Repeal Controversial State Board of Education Ruling

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Senators Anthony M. Bucco and Michael Testa announced that they plan to introduce legislation to repeal a controversial ruling made by the State Board of Education. The board should shift their focus to updating curriculum that will help students recover from learning loss, the senators said.

Sen. Anthony M. Bucco and Sen. Michael Testa said they plan to introduce legislation to repeal a controversial ruling made by the State Board of Education. (Pixabay)

“We are going to introduce legislation to repeal the shortsighted policies recently adopted by the State Board of Education. Decisions of this magnitude should include input and guidance from the Legislature. A board of unelected government bureaucrats should not have sole authority over our children’s curriculum,” said Bucco (R-25). “Parents are rightfully concerned about their voices being dismissed while controversial curriculum gets pushed into the classroom with little to no oversight. This bill will help build stronger partnerships between parents and their local school communities to ensure that curriculum revisions are made in the best interest of their children.”

On August 2, the State Board of Education narrowly approved amendments that removed gendered nouns and pronouns as well as mentions of the word equality from the “Managing for Equality and Equity in Education” Chapter of New Jersey’s Administrative Code.

In the days since their ruling, Senate Republicans and other legislators have criticized the NJ School Board over their controversial decision and for not coordinating with elected policymakers. Lawmakers have also raised concerns about the new rules reducing the amount of time school districts have to implement the updated policies from 180 days to 60 days.

Senator Bucco and Senator Testa are calling on the Legislature to reconvene for a special session to repeal these actions before they go into effect. Our colleagues agree that the Legislature needs to work together with the NJ School Board to update school curriculum, said the senators. This would give lawmakers an opportunity to adhere to the voices of concerned parents and address real issues like learning loss.

Senator Testa introduced legislation, S-3703, in March of this year to require legislative approval of updates made to school curriculum.

“We are hearing from parents that they feel like their voices and concerns are not being heard when they question what’s being taught to their children. An unelected board should not have the authority to unilaterally mandate curriculum changes for all schools throughout the state without legislative input,” said Testa (R-1). “Not only should we repeal the controversial decision made by the state board, but we must also go one step further and require legislative approval of any action that would update or revise school curriculum. I urge my colleagues to support these legislative efforts to give parents and their local school communities a greater voice in shaping our children’s future.”

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