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Assemblyman proposes aid cuts for colleges offering majority of classes online without lowering tuition: Education briefs

Assemblyman proposes aid cuts for colleges offering majority of classes online without lowering tuition: Education briefs

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TRENTON — A bill proposed by a Monmouth County assemblyman would cut state aid for public and private universities that provide the majority of their classes online due to COVID-19 and don’t lower tuition.

Details of the bill sponsored by Assemblyman Ron Dancer, R-Monmouth, were not immediately available Monday, but according to a news release from his office, the state secretary of Higher Education would determine a methodology for how much state aid colleges would lose.

“Students take on a lot of debt for the full slate of services and opportunities college provides in addition to education,” said Dancer. “If they can’t enjoy those services and opportunities, they shouldn’t have to pay for them. Hopefully, colleges choose to save students money instead of losing state aid.”

Education-related bills advance

A bill requiring depression screenings for middle and high school students in New Jersey passed the full Assembly last week.

The bill was introduced in January to address a rise of teen depression and suicide. Its sponsors this week said the bill is needed especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, when social distancing can exacerbate mental health issues.

The legislation passed the Assembly on Thursday and will now head to the Senate.

In other legislative news, the Assembly approved a resolution petitioning the federal government for additional emergency response funding to safely reopen schools this fall.

Schools were closed in New Jersey in mid-March and transitioned to remote learning as the virus began impacting the state. Gov. Phil Murphy said he wants schools to reopen in the fall in some capacity and has released guidance on how they may do so safely. Plans are to be sent to the state for approval this week.

Legislation establishing the Senate Higher Education Student Advisory Commission cleared the Senate last week, as well.

The legislation would establish a 14-member advisory group to help determine the direction and priorities of higher education in the state, advise the secretary of higher education on system-wide matters and provide annual reports to the higher education committees in the Senate and Assembly.

Another Senate bill would require colleges to distribute information informing students they can include dependent care expenses in determining their cost of attendance for financial aid. The bill passed the Senate unanimously Thursday and has been sent to the Assembly Higher Education Committee.

To support the continued operation of academic-related activities in public schools, the Senate advanced legislation to establish the Co-Curricular Activity Emergency Grant Program and appropriate $750,000. The bill was released from the Senate by a vote of 40-0.

The parent or guardian of a child enrolled in a licensed child care center would be required to notify the facility when their child will be absent under legislation that passed the passed the Senate with a vote of 39-0 last week. If not notified of an absence, the operator of the child care center, or appropriate staff, would be required to immediately contact the child’s parent, or guardian, in an attempt to notify them of the absence.

Dunkin’ honors Atlantic County grad

A Northfield girl received a $2,000 scholarship from Dunkin’ as part of its 11th annual Regional Scholarship Program.

Alexa Lovell-Thompson was honored July 30 with an “iced coffee break” with her family, friends and neighbors.

Lovell-Thompson was among 25 students selected from more than 1,500 applicants to receive an academic scholarship to an accredited two- or four-year college, university or vocational-technical school of their choice for fall 2020. Dunkin’ awarded a total of $50,000 to the 25 recipients who were selected based on their academic records, demonstrated leadership skills, and overall commitment to their schools and local communities.

EHT hosts in-person registration for full-day kindergarten

Egg Harbor Township parents and guardians of kindergarten students who have not yet registered for the fall are invited to an in-person open house at the Davenport Elementary School on Spruce Avenue from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Masks are required. Caregivers must bring proof of child’s age, residency and immunization records. The open house is also open to those who started the registration process but had difficulty completing it.

Visit to register online. Contact for questions or assistance.

Contact: 609-272-7251

Twitter @clairelowe


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Staff Writer

I began covering South Jersey in 2008 after graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism. After seven years at The Current and Gazette newspapers, I joined The Press in 2015. I currently cover education.

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