(TRENTON) – In response to the announcement by Governor Phil Murphy that school districts will be given the option to conduct all-remote learning at the start of the 2020-2021 school year with approval from the New Jersey Department of Education, Assemblywoman Mila Jasey (D-Essex, Morris), who championed legislation to allow remote learning in schools this fall, released the following statement:
“I recognize that every district faces challenges unique to their schools and their communities. In-person instruction, while ideal, will simply not be possible, or advisable, in every district.
“I applaud Governor Murphy’s decision to permit every school district the ability to proceed with remote-only instruction in order to put safety first. I am confident that the Department of Education will act favorably upon all requests for remote learning. Since educators are not public health professionals, I believe a signoff from the Department of Health should also be required before any in-person schooling plan is approved.
“Finally, for reasons of equity, unity and safety, I ask the Governor to consider a delayed start for all school districts, enabling teachers the opportunity to secure the professional development necessary to deliver quality remote instruction. Likewise, it is therefore imperative that we immediately close the digital divide by ensuring that every student has a device and internet connectivity to fully access learning.
“New Jersey’s public schools are the best in the nation, and the pandemic has in no way altered our commitment to delivering a high quality education to every New Jersey student.”