NJ Assembly passes PARCC legislation

Lawmakers in the state Assembly took a step toward making it easier for parents to opt their kids out of the PARCC test.

Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for Collage and Careers exam (File Photo)

Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for Collage and Careers exam (File Photo) (3/26/15)

TRENTON - Lawmakers in the state Assembly took a step toward making it easier for parents to opt their kids out of the PARCC test. 

After weeks of contentious hearings in committees, the state's General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a bill allowing parents to opt their kids out of taking the PARCC test.

"I have never heard more comments about anything during my time in Trenton than about this PARCC challenge," says Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan.

This bill gives parents 14 days to opt their kids out of the test before it is given in writing, and districts would have to notify parents of upcoming PARCC tests by Sept. 30.

The bill passed without a single vote against it, but some in the Legislature worry about the entire debate losing perspective.

"I don't recommend you opt out, but I'll vote to allow you to opt out. The bottom line is let's see the results of the test before we react,” says Assemblyman Jon Bramnick.

The PARCC legislation now goes to the state Senate for a vote.

Also approved Thursday was a change to the state's budget that allows more money from environmental settlements to be used for cleanup.  As of now, any dollar after the first 50 million can be used for the general fund.

In addition, the Assembly agreed to move forward with a plan to revise New Jersey's medical marijuana program. It comes a day after Gov. Chris Christie slammed the drug as a gateway to other narcotics and promised to end any plan to legalize it in New Jersey.

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