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Greenstein, Gopal Bill to Include Labor Movement in New Jersey Learning Standards Advances

TRENTON – The Senate Education Committee advanced legislation sponsored by Senator Linda Greenstein and its Chair, Senator Vin Gopal, which would require school districts to provide instruction on the labor movement as part of New Jersey Student Learning Standards in Social Studies.

“New Jersey has a long history of strong organized labor. Teaching this history is crucial for preparing students to be informed, engaged, and empowered participants in the workforce and civic life.” said Senator Greenstein (D-Mercer/Middlesex). “In doing so, individuals will learn how to think critically about the role of labor in society and advocate for their own rights in the future.”

The bill, S-1054, would require boards of education to include instruction on United States and New Jersey labor history and the contributions of the labor movement. The instruction would be provided in an appropriate place in the curriculum of students in grades six through twelve.

“Unions are responsible for the many strides forward in developing stronger labor laws over the past century,” said Senator Gopal (D-Monmouth). “It is important for younger generations to understand the power that they have when it comes to collectively advocating for what they believe in.”

Under the bill, the instruction would include, at a minimum, information on the history of organized labor, notable strikes throughout history, unionization drives, and the collective bargaining process and existing legal protections in the workplace.

The bill was advanced in a 4-1 vote.