TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy talks a good talk in front of the cameras when it comes to reopening New Jersey’s schools, but behind the scenes, he’s been dodging a meeting with state legislators who want to talk to him and his administration about his plan.
Once again, Murphy and his administration have skipped school and failed to attend an important hearing on reopening schools in New Jersey.
Senator Michael Testa and Assemblyman Erik Simonsen (both R-1) said an important meeting of the Joint Committee on the Public Schools scheduled for today to discuss school reopenings was postponed because the Murphy administration wouldn’t make the Commissioner of Health available as planned.
“There’s a clear pattern of the Murphy Administration hiding Commissioner Persichilli from any exposure to legislative committees where she might have to answer difficult questions about pandemic response,” said Testa, a member of the joint committee. “This follows our nursing home hearing on Friday where family members of victims were livid that she and other members of the administration refused to show up and face them.”
The Joint Committee on the Public Schools was scheduled to meet remotely today to discuss how New Jersey can successfully reopen schools while addressing the learning loss and the social emotional impact the pandemic has had on the students and teachers of New Jersey.
The Commissioner of Health and Acting Commissioner of Education were expected to participate in the committee.
The committee was postponed indefinitely with a message to members stating, “Both Acting Education Commissioner Angelica Allen-McMillan and Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli are looking forward to appearing before the Committee. At the current time there is insufficient detail regarding the specifics of the vaccine rollout for educators and support staff, which will be based in large part upon availability of the doses made available to us from the federal government, which will in turn impact schools fully reopening in some districts.”
“New Jersey families want their kids back in school as soon as possible,” added Simonsen, who also serves on the joint committee. “There’s a lot of important ground we need to cover that has nothing to do with vaccines. This is yet another example of Governor Murphy’s team making excuses at everyone else’s expense to protect themselves.”