TRENTON, N.J. – Following the State Board of Education’s controversial changes to the state’s school equity code, Assemblyman Christopher DePhillips is renewing his push for legislative oversight of the process.
When revisions to the state’s English and math learning standards were proposed this May, DePhillips introduced a bill (A5456) giving the Legislature the power to approve or reject updates to curriculum content prior to the State Board of Education adopting changes.
“Unelected bureaucrats making major changes to our state’s public education system is an affront to school districts, teachers and parents,” DePhillips (R-Bergen) said. “I am once again proposing that legislative leaders post my bill that creates a process with the proper checks and balances. Elected representatives serve as a voice of their constituents and should weigh in on such consequential updates.”
The state board is required to review and update the equity code every seven years and learning standards every five. Failure to follow the new regulations and curriculum changes could result in funding losses.
The most recent revisions to the equity code mandates schools only separate sex education classes based on a student’s gender identity, and shortens the timeline for schools to submit their equity plans. The updated health and physical education standards approved by the Board of Education during the height of Gov. Phil Murphy’s lockdowns in June 2020, requires schools to teach children about transgender identity and masturbation, among other provocative topics.
“The State Board of Education is creating divisiveness. Where school districts have created an opportunity for collaboration with community members and parents, the state steps in and threatens to pull funding. It’s ultimately the kids who will suffer,” DePhillips said. “The legislature needs to be involved because the future education of New Jersey’s schoolchildren is too important an issue to have these decisions happen in a bureaucratic vacuum.”