PRESS RELEASES

Diegnan Bill to Establish Grant Program to Develop Dual Language Immersion Programs Clears Senate

 

Trenton – Legislation sponsored by Senator Patrick J. Diegnan Jr.  to establish a grant program for school districts and charter schools to develop dual language immersion programs was approved by the Senate.

“The best way for a student to excel in a foreign language is an immersion program,” said Senator Diegnan (D-Middlesex). “The ability to be bilingual or multilingual is increasingly necessary for study, work and coexistence and provides cultural awareness to children at a young age.  It also gives young people a more pluralistic vision of the world which helps them be prepared for the demands of the 21st century labor market.  Most important, it contributes to the economic diversity and growth of our state.”

The bill, S-2704, would require the Commissioner of Education, with the approval of the State Board of Educations to establish and administer a dual language immersion program. The dual language immersion program would have to begin in kindergarten or in grade one and meet any other requirements established by the commissioner. Under the bill, any school district or charter school which wants to apply to participate in the grant program should submit a proposal to the commissioner in such form as prescribed by the commissioner.

The commissioner would select grant recipients based upon the quality of the proposed program and its potential to increase student biliteracy, and would select recipients in the northern, central, and southern regions of the State. The commissioner would allocate to each selected school district and charter school a grant in such amount as the commissioner may deem necessary to support the dual language immersion program. The school district or charter school would be eligible to receive funds if it uses an instructional model that provides at least 50 percent of its instruction in English and 50 percent of its instruction in Chinese, Spanish, French, or any other language approved by the commissioner.

The bill would establish the Dual Language Immersion Program Fund as a non-lapsing revolving fund in the Department of Education to finance the grant program.

The bill cleared the full Senate with a vote of 36-0 and will next head to the Assembly for further consideration.

 

 

Diegnan Bill Establishing Mandatory Sexual Assault Training Program For Police Officers Clears Senate

 

TRENTON –Legislation sponsored by Senator Patrick Diegnan to ensure police officers are trained in how to handle sexual assault cases cleared the full Senate.

The bill, S-1739, establishes mandatory sexual assault training for law enforcement officers. Under this bill, the Division of Criminal Justice shall develop a training course and curriculum for law enforcement officers on the handling, investigation, and response procedures for reports of sexual assault.

“Sexual assault is an unimaginable, traumatic event for the victim,” said Senator Diegnan (D-Middlesex). “Police should be given the necessary resources on how best to respond to and handle these cases, and this bill provides for that with ongoing training.”

All law enforcement officers will be required to attend this training every two years.

The training course and curriculum developed shall be reviewed at least every two years by the Division of Criminal Justice and modified as needed. The Division of Criminal Justice will make the curriculum available to all law enforcement agencies and the Attorney General will be responsible for ensuring that all law enforcement officers complete the training.

According to the 2015 Uniform Crime Report, there was a 40% increase in reported rapes in New Jersey. According to the New Jersey State Police, in 2015, a rape occurred every 6 hours and 26 minutes. There were over 1,362 reported rapes in New Jersey in 2015, a 43% increase from the 950 reported in 2014.

The bill cleared the Senate 38-0 and will next head to the Assembly for further consideration.

 

 

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