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Senators Anthony M. Bucco and Michael Testa said that the State Board of Education is focused more on advancing identity politics than building stronger relationships between parents and teachers in response to the board’s vote to approve a proposal to remove “equality” in the “Managing for Equality and Equity in Education” Chapter of New Jersey’s Administrative Code. The board should be more respectful of parental rights, the senators said.
“All kids deserve the opportunity to succeed in-and-out of the classroom but the best way to ensure this success is by bringing their parents, teachers, and local school administrators together, not by driving a wedge between them. Today’s State Board of Education vote unfortunately drives a wedge further between these groups,” said Bucco (R-25). “Students are falling behind from pandemic-related learning loss and instead of prioritizing reading, writing, and math, the State Board is infusing progressive identity politics into the classroom. Parents are rightfully concerned about what’s being taught to their children and deserve to have a voice in their local school communities. We do not need government bureaucrats substituting on their behalf.”
The controversial State Board of Education proposal was narrowly approved by a vote of 6 to 5 to amend the Managing for Equality and Equity in Education Chapter of New Jersey’s Administrative Code to remove gendered nouns and pronouns as well as all mentions of the word equality, retitling the Chapter “Managing for Equity in Education.” It was clear by comments from members of the board that more time is needed to address these tough issues and allow more stakeholder input to get the standards right. Members of the audience were visibly and audibly upset when the proposal was approved.
Senate Republicans warned in December that these provisions focused more on boosting certain groups, regardless of individual educational needs, adding that the board should be more focused on respecting the rights of concerned parents to have a voice in decisions made that impact their children’s education.
The approved proposal additionally changed State regulations to prevent schools from separating boys and girls based on biological sex for certain classes or sports. Instead, the approved amendments dictate that schools may separate teams based on gender identities, which would allow boys to compete in women’s sports. Senator Testa sponsors the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act”, S-589, to protect women’s sports in New Jersey.
“Title IX was adopted to prevent discrimination and protect biological girls in women’s sports to give them a fair playing field. The State Board of Education’s adoption of language promoting gender identity over biological sex is an indication that the protections of Title IX are slowly eroding for girls playing women’s sports,” said Testa (R-1). “We have a responsibility to act now to protect our daughters from these disastrous policies that are taking fair opportunities away from female competitors to train, win, and succeed. I urge my colleagues in the Legislature to support the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act so we can protect women’s sports and preserve the Title IX.”