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Weinberg/Turner Bill To Require Religious Parity In Educational Exams Clears Senate

TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senators Loretta Weinberg and Shirley K. Turner, to ensure that all colleges and universities to provide alternate testing arrangements for students who are unable to attend scheduled exams because of religious observances was unanimously approved today by the full Senate.

“The goal of this legislation is to ensure parity in these educational tests at all of New Jersey’s colleges and universities,” said Senator Weinberg, D-Bergen. “I understand that many schools already offer alternate testing dates, but this legislation would work to ensure that all schools in New Jersey recognize the need for these exams to be offered on dates that don’t conflict with students’ religious responsibilities.”

“This bill would provide a fair chance for students who, because of religious reasons, are unable to take a necessary exam during a regularly scheduled time, to do so at a later date,” said Senator Turner, D-Mercer, who chairs the Senate Education Committee. “These exams are important, and absolutely necessary for students to move onto the next step educationally. This bill would level the playing field.”

The Senators’ bill, S-1023, would require colleges and universities that administer the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), to offer alternative testing arrangements for students who are unable to attend Saturday exams because of religious observances.

Schools would be permitted to require written documentation outlining the religious conflict from a clergyman.

This measure was unanimously approved by the Senate Education panel on February 14. It now heads to the Assembly for approval.


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