SENATE, No. 1512

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

219th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 13, 2020

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  M. TERESA RUIZ

District 29 (Essex)

Senator  SANDRA B. CUNNINGHAM

District 31 (Hudson)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senator Turner

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires DOE to maintain list of textbook vendors that use inclusive material and school districts to use textbooks from those vendors.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning textbooks used in public schools and supplementing chapter 34 of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    a.  As used in this section:

     “Inclusive material” means content in a textbook that accurately portrays the diversity of our society, in such areas as gender, race, ethnicity, disability, gender identity or expression, and sexual orientation.

     “Textbook” means books, workbooks, or manuals, whether bound or in looseleaf form, or electronic textbooks, intended as the principal source of study material for a given class.

     b.    The Department of Education shall develop and maintain a list of textbook vendors that incorporate inclusive material in their textbooks.  The list shall be distributed to school districts and shall be made publicly available on the department’s website.  Following the effective date of this act, when a school district determines to acquire a new textbook, the district shall select the textbook from a vendor that is included on the department’s list.

     c.     Notwithstanding subsection b. of this section, a school district may propose to the Commissioner of Education a textbook vendor that is not currently on the list maintained by the department, and may acquire and use textbooks from that vendor upon the approval of the commissioner.

     d.    The provisions of this section shall not apply to textbooks acquired by a school district using the Statewide textbook bank created pursuant to section 1 of P.L.2002, c.98 (C.18A:34-3) or to textbooks that require replacement due to damage or loss.

 

     2.    This act shall take effect on the first day of the nineteenth month next following the date of enactment.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill requires the Department of Education to develop and maintain a list of textbook vendors that incorporate inclusive material in their textbooks and to distribute the list to school districts and make the list publicly available on the department’s website.  “Inclusive material” as defined in the bill means content in a textbook that accurately portrays the diversity of our society, in such areas as gender, race, ethnicity, disability, gender identity or expression, and sexual orientation.  Under the bill, when a school district determines to acquire a new textbook, the district will be required to select the textbook from a vendor that is included on the department’s list.  Notwithstanding, the bill allows a school district to propose to the Commissioner of Education a textbook vendor that is not currently on the department’s list and to acquire and use textbooks from that vendor upon the approval of the commissioner.  The requirements of the bill would not apply to textbooks acquired by a school district using the Statewide textbook bank created pursuant to section 1 of P.L.2002, c.98 (C.18A:34-3) or to textbooks that require replacement due to damage or loss.