M. Teresa Ruiz

23 Aug: Turner To Ruiz: Every Dollar Of Education Funding Must Make It To The Classroom

TRENTON – Senator Shirley K. Turner, D-Mercer, today sent a letter to Senate Education Committee Chairwoman Teresa Ruiz, D-Essex, requesting a Committee hearing to investigate allegations made by recent news reports of fraudulent special education and health benefit spending by the Trenton School District.

“The fiscal state of Trenton’s schools has been an ongoing concern of mine, and it was the subject of a 2008 Senate Education Committee hearing with former Commissioner Davy and then-State Auditor Richard Fair. This is not a new issue, but it is an issue that deserves our close attention,” said Senator Turner.

Senator Teresa Ruiz, D-Essex and Passaic, discusses a bill at a meeting of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

16 Aug: Ruiz Statement On Charter School Legislation

TRENTON – Senator Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex/Union), Chair of the Senate Education Committee, issued the following statement on today’s committee hearing on legislation (S-2198) the Senator sponsored to modernize the state’s laws covering charter schools:

“The legislation we discussed today is a starting point to ensure that all New Jersey students are offered equal opportunities for academic success and that we are equipped to accommodate the evolving role of charter schools that is taking shape in our state, as it is across the country.

01 Jul: Weinberg, Stender, Legislators & Advocates Urge Action On Women’s Healthcare Funding

TRENTON – Sen. Loretta Weinberg, Assemblywoman Linda Stender, representatives of women’s health organizations and legislators who support access to women’s health programs called on Gov. Chris Christie Thursday to act on legislation to restore $7.5 million in cuts for women’s health programs in the recently enacted FY 2011 state budget.

“Today, we’re calling on Gov. Christie to do the right thing and restore funding for women’s health programs,” said Weinberg (D-Bergen), chair of the Senate Health Committee. “The bill which passed both legislative houses is budget neutral, and preserves our commitment to provide access to basic health care for women who have nowhere else to turn. We hope that the governor can put women’s health and safety ahead of political ideology, but we stand ready to work to overturn his veto, just in case.”

28 Jun: Van Drew/Gill/Ruiz Measure Creating Task Force To Study NJN Proposal Clears Senate

TRENTON – The Senate today approved legislation sponsored by Senators Jeff Van Drew, Nia H. Gill, and Teresa Ruiz to create a task force to study Governor Christie’s proposal to slash funding for New Jersey Network and transition it from a government-run entity, paving the way for control by a not-for-profit organization.

The measure (SCR-113) would ensure that residents’ investment in the network is protected, and that the Jersey-centric programming focus is maintained in the event of a transition.

Senator M. Theresa Ruiz listens to testimony during the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee hearing.

21 Jun: Ruiz/Turner Bill Would Give School Districts More Flexibility With Substitute Teachers

TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senators Teresa Ruiz and Shirley Turner, which would allow school districts more flexibility when filling classroom teacher vacancies, was unanimously approved today by the Senate Education Committee.

“When teachers must take leave for extended periods of time, particularly in cases where vacancies must be filled mid-year, districts must ensure that the teachers who are brought in to fill those vacancies are trained and qualified to educate students,” said Senator Ruiz, D-Essex, who chairs the Senate Education Panel. “The intent of the bill is to ensure that there is some stability in the classroom, and make sure that students receive the educational tools necessary to thrive.”

“When unqualified teachers are allowed to fill vacant positions for extended periods of time, students are robbed of a thorough and efficient education,” said Senator Turner, D-Mercer, a member of the Senate Education Committee, and the sponsor of 2010 legislation to restrict unqualified substitute teachers from teaching for extended periods of time. “It is up to the school districts to ensure that they are recruiting qualified teachers to prepare today’s students for life after the classroom.”

10 Jun: Senate Approves ‘Jaden’s Law’ To Promote Bone Marrow Donation Awareness

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senators Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) and Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex) to promote bone marrow and blood stem cell donation awareness received final legislative approval today in the Senate.

“Jaden’s Law” was named in honor of 3-year-old Jaden Hilton, a New Jersey boy who lost his battle with Leukemia on January 29, 2007 after he was unable to find a bone marrow match. None of his family members were matches and, because of the low number of minorities in the national registry, he was unable to find a match in the donor pool.

27 May: Senate Panel Releases Vitale/Ruiz Bill Ensuring Educational Stability For Kids In Foster Care

TRENTON – The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee today released legislation Senators Joseph Vitale and Teresa Ruiz sponsored to promote greater educational stability for kids in foster care by ensuring they are not uprooted from their schools unnecessarily when placed in a new home.

The bill (S-1333) would change current policy that automatically places a foster child in the school district of their foster family, allowing a child to remain in their current school. The bill would allow a child to switch districts if it is determined to be in their best interest.

Senator Ronald L. Rice (D-Essex)

05 May: Rice: Proposed Budget Cuts Aren’t Just Numbers, But Services That Would Be Cut From Residents

NEWARK – A group of Essex County legislators today met with county mayors, school superintendents and members of various community organizations to gather input on the real effects that Governor Christie�s proposed FY 2011 budget would have on Essex County residents. The meeting was held at Essex County College’s Newark Campus.

“These proposed cuts are not just numbers, they represent services and programs that would be denied our residents if Governor Christie’s budget is passed,” said Senator Ronald L. Rice, D-Newark, who organized the town hall meeting. “Rebates would be delayed and or eliminated, schools would lose landmark funding amounts, and the pain would just go on and on. It is imperative that we find ways to ease the burden on taxpayers, and help prevent the inevitable tax increases that would be brought on by Governor Christie’s budget. We are in this budget fight together, and I am determined to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, to deliver a responsible budget, that won�t rob residents of the ability to make ends meet.”