TRENTON, N.J. – In the wake of a controversial ruling by the state Board of Education to change the equity code, Assemblyman John DiMaio is introducing legislation to repeal the changes.
“Bureaucrats should not have more power over children’s education than parents,” said DiMaio (R-Warren), the Assembly GOP Leader. “Local school boards are being put in a difficult position because the state keeps making changes without parental input. The local process is becoming a sham when the state starts taking away flexibility.”
Updated by the state board every seven years, the most recent revisions to the code include new rules on equity that will directly affect public education in New Jersey, such as mandating schools solely recognize a student’s gender identity when separating sex education classes. School districts must follow the regulations or suffer funding losses as a penalty.
“An age-appropriate, medically accurate education to help students as they develop physically and emotionally is being jeopardized in the so-called name of equity,” DiMaio said.
Parents are concerned that the change will leave some students uniformed and unprepared to address their health and natural biological processes.
“If a school district fails to implement these changes after parental feedback, it could possibly lose state or federal funding, which would be devastating considering the unprecedented learning losses and catastrophic state aid cuts,” DiMaio said. “A truly local process doesn’t involve mandates from the state against parents’ will.”
State Board of Education officials have said that the changes were made to conform to state laws that resulted in new sex education learning standards. Despite passing those laws and celebrating them initially, Democrat leaders have changed course and expressed disappointment in the Board’s ruling.
“If Democrats are serious in their opposition to the equity code changes, they will hold a special session to pass this bill. Actions speak louder than words,” concluded DiMaio.