Sumter, Reyolds-Jackson & Stanley Bill to Require Cultural Diversity & Bias Training for DOE Arbitrators Now Law

(TRENTON) – Legislation (A-5245) requiring training for DOE arbitrators to include issues related to cultural diversity and bias sponsored by Assembly members Shavonda Sumter, Verlina Reynolds-Jackson, and Sterley Stanley was signed into law on Monday.

Under previous law, members of the panel of arbitrators maintained by the Commissioner of Education are required to receive training on conduct unbecoming an employee, including, but not limited to, issues related to allegations of sexual assault and child abuse, to assist the arbitrator in determining matters in which conduct unbecoming an employee is the basis of the tenure charges made against the employee.

The new law will require that the training also include issues related to cultural diversity and bias. It will also provide that any arbitrator serving on the permanent panel upon the law’s enactment will be required to complete the cultural diversity and bias training within 18 months of the date of enactment.

Sponsors Assembly members Sumter, Reynolds-Jackson, and Stanley issued the following statement on the legislation:

“Unchecked implicit bias continues to contribute to the creation of barriers to inclusion, educational excellence, and growth for communities of color. Making sure arbitrators are given the necessary cultural awareness and sensitivity training to handle all situations will help counteract any bias our children may face throughout the process.”