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Full Senate to vote on bill seeking to invest pension funds in TTF 

Today (Dec. 15) – against NJEA and other unions’ objections -- S-2842 passed the Senate Budget Committee and is now quickly moving thru the Senate.  This bill, sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney, would allow the director of the Division of Investment to use pension or annuity funds to purchase an unlimited amount of debt obligations of the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund (TTF). More importantly, this bill would bypass a State Investment Council (SIC) regulation that limits the purchase of bonds to 10 percent of the outstanding debt of the public entity.

Email your Senator and tell him/her to vote NO on S-2842. 

Investment decisions should be left to the experts, not politicians, and the SIC should be able to make decisions that are in the best interests of the beneficiaries of the pension systems they oversee. Sen. President Sweeney should instead focus on ways the state can meet its pension funding obligations, not interfere in investment strategies.

New Jersey’s pension systems are already vulnerable. We need to ensure that we continue to maintain the integrity of the council who oversees these systems and its investment decisions. Let’s stop this bill today.


Senate bill introduced to eliminate test scores in evaluation

Take ActionA-4122, which would eliminate the use of test scores from teacher evaluation as required in TEACHNJ, passed in the full Assembly at the end of September.  The Senate version, S-2668, has been introduced in the Senate by Senator Jeff Van Drew (D-1). 

This bill follows the trend established by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  ESSA, which replaced the failed No Child Left Behind Act, removes the requirement that states use standardized test scores in teacher evaluation.  ESSA requires states use multiple measures and a new indicator of student success.  ESSA allows states to move away from the high-stakes use of test scores for both teachers and students.

While Senator Van Drew introduced the bill, we need to build support for the bill in the entire house.  Contact your members of the Senate and ask them to co-sponsor S-2668. Tell them:

  • High-stakes tests hurt students and teachers;
  • The federal Every Student Succeeds Act does not require the use of test scores in teacher evaluation;
  • Removing test scores from teacher evaluation will ensure teachers can teach the whole child, and leave ample time for courses other than math and English.

Contact your Senate representative and ask him or her to co-sponsor S-2668.  Tell your senator that high-stakes tests hurt students and teachers, and take time away from learning that matters.  Please support S-2668.