On May 28, Education Law Center hosted the 11th annual Education Justice Lecture as a virtual panel discussion. The webinar – “The Impact of COVID-19 On Our Schools: The Advocacy Response from New York and New Jersey” – featured New York State Senator Robert Jackson; former Executive Director of the Alliance for Quality Education, Billy Easton; and New Jersey Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly. ELC Executive Director David Sciarra moderated the discussion.
The panelists shared their experiences over the last three months in pressing New York and New Jersey to address the underlying educational inequities that have been laid bare by the pandemic. These include closing the digital divide and providing effective and equitable learning opportunities remotely to all students, fighting state budget cuts, advocating for additional federal funds, and determining when states can reopen schools safely and ready to make up lost learning time experienced by students while sheltering at home.
As is customary, the ELC tradition continued during the webinar of presenting our annual Education Justice and Marilyn Morheuser Awards for dedicated service to the nation’s and New Jersey’s public school students. Senator Jackson and Mr. Easton were honored with the Education Justice Award for their outstanding commitment to advancing equal educational opportunity for public school children across the U.S. and Assemblyman Wimberly received the Marilyn Morheuser Award, presented in memory of ELC’s long-time Executive Director and architect of the landmark Abbott v. Burke litigation, for advancing the educational rights of students in New Jersey public schools.
ELC extends deep gratitude to Educational Testing Service and the New Jersey Education Association, the prime sponsors of this year’s Education Justice event. ELC also thanks the many organizations, law firms, businesses and individuals who contributed to ELC in support of the event and our work.
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