SENATE, No. 3206

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED NOVEMBER 19, 2020

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  M. TERESA RUIZ

District 29 (Essex)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires school districts to provide anti-bias instruction as part of New Jersey Student Learning Standards in Comprehensive Health and Physical Education; requires school districts to designate chief equity officer. 

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning anti-bias instruction in school districts and supplementing chapter 35 of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    a.  Beginning in the 2021-2022 school year, each school district shall incorporate age-appropriate anti-bias instruction into the curriculum for students in grades kindergarten through 12 as part of the district's implementation of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards in Comprehensive Health and Physical Education.

     b.    The instruction shall:

     (1)   review various dimensions of personal and cultural identity;

     (2)   highlight and promote diversity, equity, inclusion, tolerance and belonging on topics including: gender and sexual orientation; race and ethnicity; disabilities; and religious tolerance;

     (3) provide information on how people form implicit and unconscious biases;

     (4)   provide opportunities for students to learn from and about one another and explore ways to address bias and prejudice; and

     (5)   encourage safe, welcoming, and inclusive environments for all students regardless of race or ethnicity, sexual and gender identities, mental and physical disabilities, and religious beliefs.

     c.     The Commissioner of Education shall provide school districts with sample learning activities and resources designed to promote anti-bias instruction.

 

     2.    a.  As used in this section, "school district" shall include a charter school and a renaissance school project.

     b.    The superintendent in each school district shall designate a school administrator or a school employee to serve as a chief equity officer for the district. The chief equity officer shall be responsible for:

     (1)   identifying disparities in access to school programs and services across student groups;

     (2)   supervising and overseeing all school district policies and procedures designed to encourage safe, welcoming, and inclusive environments for all students regardless of race or ethnicity, sexual and gender identities, mental and physical disabilities, and religious beliefs; and

     (3)   ensuring that the school district policies and procedures relating to equity and inclusion  are in compliance with State law and regulations.

 

     3.    This act shall take effect immediately.

STATEMENT

 

     This bill requires each school district, beginning in the 2021-2022 school year, to incorporate age-appropriate anti-bias instruction into the curriculum for students in grades kindergarten through 12 as part of the district's implementation of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards in Comprehensive Health and Physical Education. Under the bill, the instruction will:

        review various dimensions of personal and cultural identity;

        highlight and promote diversity, equity, inclusion, tolerance and belonging on topics including: gender and sexual orientation; race and ethnicity; disabilities; and religious tolerance;

        provide information on how people form implicit and unconscious biases;

        provide opportunities for students to learn from and about one another and explore ways to address bias and prejudice; and

        encourage safe, welcoming, and inclusive environments for all students regardless of race or ethnicity, sexual and gender identities, mental and physical disabilities, and religious beliefs.

     The bill requires the Commissioner of Education to provide school districts with sample learning activities and resources designed to promote anti-bias instruction.

     The bill also requires the superintendent in each school district to designate a school administrator or a school employee to serve as a chief equity officer for the district. Under the bill, the chief equity officer will be responsible for:

        identifying disparities in access to school programs and services across student groups;

         supervising and overseeing all school district policies and procedures designed to encourage safe, welcoming, and inclusive environments for all students regardless of race or ethnicity, sexual and gender identities, mental and physical disabilities, and religious beliefs; and

        ensuring that the school district policies and procedures relating to equity and inclusion are in compliance with State law and regulations.