Trenton – To support the continued operation of academic-related activities in public schools, today the Senate advanced legislation to establish the Co-Curricular Activity Emergency Grant Program. The legislation, which would appropriate $750,000 for the program, is sponsored by Senator Nicholas Scutari and Senate Education Chair M. Teresa Ruiz.
“Activities like debate team and drama club are a meaningful addition to a student’s academic experience,” said Senator Scutari (D-Union). “We recognize that the current public health crisis has left many districts in difficult financial situations, but our hope is that this legislation will help prevent cuts to important programming that is so valuable to both our students and our communities.”
The bill, S-2540, would allow any school district, charter school or renaissance school to apply to the Department of Education for a co-curricular activity emergency grant. When submitting an application, the school or district would have to specify the activities to which the grant funding would be dedicated.
“As school districts grapple with reductions in revenue on top of the added costs of accommodating social distancing, it is important we do all that we can to continue as many academic-related activities as possible,” said Senator Ruiz (D-Essex). “Our children are our future and it is our responsibility to protect the quality of their education, which includes after school programming and co-curricular activities.”
Under the bill, a co-curricular activity is a voluntary activity or program that is conducted outside of regular school hours and supplements the academic experience of participating students.
The bill was released from the Senate by a vote of 40-0.