New Jersey’s Leave of Absence
A Brief on State Senate Bill 1876
This past June, Governor Phil Murphy helped take a great stride in making sure that every day counts for the students within New Jersey’s Public Schools when he signed a new bill into law. This new policy will work to ensure that schools and districts understand the level to which chronic absenteeism occurs and guarantee that schools disproportionately afflicted have plans to help fight absenteeism. Specifically, the policy identifies schools who have a greater than 10% absentee rate and requires them to establish a plan for improving attendance. It also requires schools to report the percent of students who are absent more than ten percent of the time on their School Report Card. Attendance is one of the most important aspects in ensuring a successful education for students of all ages. The Governor and state legislature, alongside advocacy groups like Advocates for Children of New Jersey (ACNJ), have taken the first steps in fighting one of the largest issues within New Jersey schools. With that being said, it is still extremely important to consider how the state board of education, along with individual districts and schools, will interpret and comply with the law.