Student Survey Bill Update: So Far, So Good

By Art Gallagher

The bills scheduled to be voted on in the State Assembly this Thursday have been listed.  As of now the Student Survey Bill is not on the schedule.

Posted: June 20th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

Student Survey Bill Watch

From Carolee Adams:

Note that A3242 may become more commonly known by its Senate Bill Number: S1696. Don’t let that confuse you. If you lose track of the numbers, refer to it simply as the Student Survey Bill.  Please thank Asw. Angelini ([email protected]) for withdrawing her sponsorship and encourage her to vote NO when/if it comes before the Assembly. Keep calling Gov. Christie (609.292.6000) to ask him to veto this Student Survey Bill if it passes the Assembly. Reasons why: dishonors parental rights; it’s an invasion of student privacy; it will cost taxpayers – and possibly in added lawsuits; how will this help academics when the state educational system is already experiencing such unrest; the old bill was a good bill. Why fix what ain’t broke?!

Further, consider this Bill is being pushed by a powerful, influential lobby that wants more taxpayer funded “health” programs in schools. Think recent legislation about bullying for a clue…

These Surveys are a sneaky means for schools to get at the pot of gold in the taxpayer funded CDC to create more “health” programs. (Try and track the spending, though!) However, the federal Protection of Pupil Rights Act should still be honored. I don’t believe this new NJ bill meets that.

I’ve been told none are on the Assembly Board List yet for a vote. However, I’ve also been guided that that could change the calendar day before the Assembly votes. Further, Bill numbers have been known to change, and/or Speaker Oliver could force it during quorum on Monday – even without another Education Committee meeting. Such despicable maneuvers would add weight for Governor Christie to veto.

In case you missed it, the Student Survey Bill would give school districts the authority to administer surveys that ask students intimate personal information about themselves and their families, without parental consent.  The information authorized includes sexual behavior and attitudes, mental health and psychological problems, political affiliation, the names of doctors, lawyers and ministers, income, and social security number. 

Informed parental consent to these surveys was required by a law signed in 2002.  The current bill would amend the law to allow the surveys to be administered if parents are notified and do not respond to the notification.

MMM first reported on this bill last Tuesday evening.   Opposition to the bill spread through other blogs and social networking sites resulting in Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini withdrawing her sponsorship of the bill.  The Assembly Education Committee pulled the bill from its scheduled hearing calendar last Thursday.   MMM received a tip that proponents of the bill are working to circumvent the normal legislative process by persuading Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver to post the bill for a vote before the full Assembly without a committee hearing.

The full Assembly meets today for a Quorum call at 1PM.  It meets again for a voting session on Thursday.  The bills to be voted on have not been posted yet.

Opponents of the bill are encouraged to bombard their representatives with phone calls and emails urging them to vote no on the Student Survey bill should it come up for a vote.   Urge your friends and families to do the same.

Contact information for all members of the Assembly can be found by clicking here.

Posted: June 20th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: NJ State Legislature, Student Survey Bill | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

A3242 May Not Be Dead Yet

By Art Gallagher

Assembly bill A3242, the one that would allow school districts to ask, without your informed consent, your sons and daughters if they have ever had oral sex and how much money you earn, may not be dead yet.

The bill was pulled from the Assembly Education Committee’s calendar yesterday due to the overwhelming response in opposition to the bill from MMM and RightDirection readers.  That should have killed the bill until at least the fall when the legislature returns from its summer recess.

However, our spies deep within the Democratic Assembly Caucus tell us that the bill’s remaining sponsors are prevailing upon Speaker Shelia Oliver to post the bill for a vote before the full Assembly next Thursday, bypassing committee hearings.

Sneaky sneaky sneaky.  Good thing we have spies.

The Assembly does have a voting session next Thursday, the 23rd, but none of the bills to be voted on have been posted yet.

MMM will be monitoring the board.  Be ready to make phone calls and send emails.  Even if A3242 is not posted, it is likely that there will be at least one bill (A3839 — end of life counseling AKA death panels) that will need opposition.

Posted: June 17th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , | 6 Comments »

A3242 Is Pulled!

The Assembly Education Committee pulled bill A3242, legislation already passed by the State Senate, that would allow school districts to administer surveys that pry into the private lives of students and their families without parental consent, from the hearing calendar today due to the overwhelming public outcry legislators have received since MMM brought the bill to light on Tuesday evening.

Good job MMM readers!

Special thanks goes out to Carolee Adams, President of the Eagle Forum of New Jersey.  Adams first brought this legislation to our attention.  Her lobbying efforts contributed to the passage of the current law that requires parental consent for intrusive student surveys that was passed during the lame duck session of 2001-2002.

MMM and Adams will continue to monitor the bill and alert you should the Assembly Education Committee reschedule a hearing.

Posted: June 16th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Education | Tags: , , | 5 Comments »

Source: Angelini Withdrawing As Sponsor Of A3242

MMM has just heard that 11th district Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini is withdrawing her sponsorship of Assembly bill A3242, a law that would allow school districts to survey students about their families’ political affiliations; sexual behaviors and attitudes; mental illnesses and psychological problems; illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, and demeaning behavior; critical appraisals of other individuals with whom a respondent has a close family relationship; legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships such has those of lawyers, physicians or ministers; income and social security number; all without parental consent.

While Angelini’s new position on the legislation is a victory for her constituents who have contacted her since MMM broke the story on this bill on Tuesday evening, the bill is not dead yet.

The Assembly Education Committee has a hearing scheduled on the bill this afternoon.

Those who don’t mind the government, school districts, nonprofits and federal grantees asking their children intimate personal information about themselves and their families don’t need to do anything.

Those who object should call members of the Assembly Education Committee:

Scott Rumana  – 973 237 1362

Joseph Mallone – 609 298 6250

Paul Moriarty – 856 232 6700

Ruben Ramos – 201 714 4960

Pat Diegnan – 908 757 1677

Bonnie Watson – 609 292 0500

David Wolfe – 732 840 9028

Ralph Caputo – 973 450 0484

 Elease Evans – 973 247 1521

 Mila Jasey – 973 762 1886

 Brian Rumpf – 609 693 6700

The rationale for this bill is that federal grantees and nonprofits have been frustrated in their attempts to get the personal information.  In Massachusetts middle school students, 7th and 8th graders, were recently asked how many sexual partners they have had, about condom use and their oral sexual behavior.  The survey was conducted by a local social services agency in cooperation with the federal Center for Disease Control, according to FoxNews.

The school principle acknowledged that the graphic survey took place but said the school had nothing to do with the content and that they were required to administer the survey to comply with a federal grant.

Strong New Jersey Chairwoman Diane Gooch issued a statement this morning condemning A3242:

“Liberals in the state legislature are attempting to hijack the private information of New Jersey’s students with this recent effort to collect personal data through the school districts. It is an affront to our sensibilities and our constitutional rights.  Big brother lives somewhere, but it shouldn’t be Trenton.”

Posted: June 16th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Education | Tags: , | 21 Comments »