Following a meeting of the Joint Committee on the Public Schools to discuss issues surrounding access and equity for all students in New Jersey schools, co-chair Assemblywoman Mila Jasey (D-Essex, Morris) released the following statement:
“As a parent and a grandparent, I know the world has changed significantly since I was in school. We’ve made great strides in our goals of civil rights and equality for all. Nevertheless, residential segregation still exists decades after Brown v. Board of Education, and it contributes to modern school segregation. We can’t ignore the facts; some communities in New Jersey have schools with classrooms made up of just one race or economic class.
“At the end of the day, education isn’t only about tests or homework. It’s also about children being with others who are different from them. That’s how we learn and grow. Surrounding children with peers who come from different cultures, classes, and backgrounds will undoubtedly help teach them the importance of empathy and acceptance of all.
“Our children deserve a public school system free of racial bias. Today’s hearing helped us better understand the issues at play as we work towards solutions to integrate our communities. We took an important step towards ensuring equal educational opportunity for all New Jersey students.”