New Jersey could require schools to provide textbooks

 The State Capitol building in Trenton, N.J. (Alan Tu/WHYY)

The State Capitol building in Trenton, N.J. (Alan Tu/WHYY)

New Jersey could require that every student be provided with the right textbook. A bill that ensure that cleared the New Jersey Senate on Monday. 

State Sen. Ron Rice, the primary sponsor of the measure, said students shouldn’t have to share a textbook.

“You need those books to do homework. You need the books to get the home support for education,” said Rice, D-Essex. “In urban communities, particularly where you have the majority of minorities and immigrant population, there’s no reinforcement of what takes place in the learning process in school in many cases.”

Many families in urban districts can’t afford to provide their children with a laptop, smartphone, or internet service to take the place of a textbook, he said.

“Our young people don’t have them. Parents can’t afford them unless you give it to them,” Rice said. “The homes aren’t wired up in many cases, particularly public housing areas and some of the rural communities too.”

Should the measure become law, all school districts would be required to allocate enough in their budgets to provide individual textbooks.

The Assembly has not taken any action on the plan.

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