TRENTON — One of Burlington County’s state legislators has landed a leadership post on a key Assembly panel.
Assemblyman Troy Singleton, D-7th of Palmyra, was promoted to vice chairman of the Assembly Education Committee last week by Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto. He replaces Bonnie Watson Coleman, who resigned from the New Jersey Legislature earlier this month before being sworn in as the 12th District’s new representative to Congress.
Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan, D-18th of South Plainfield, continues to serve as the committee’s chairman.
Singleton, a labor leader who formerly worked as chief of staff to former Assembly Speaker Joe Roberts, has served in the Assembly since November 2011 and has been an active legislator on numerous education issues, including teacher training, charter school reform and school vouchers.
“Clearly, improving education is a passion of Assemblyman Singleton,” Prieto said in a statement announcing the appointment. “He is a natural fit for this position, and I look forward to seeing him bring his energy, talents and expertise to this new leadership role as we continue striving to improve education throughout New Jersey.”
Singleton is one of the authors of New Jersey’s Urban Hope Act, which permits nonprofit groups to build and run public schools in Camden, Trenton and Newark, and has introduced legislation to reform the state’s charter school law so that elected local school boards would have more input on whether a charter is approved within the board’s jurisdiction.
He is also one of the most vocal supporters of the Opportunity Scholarship Act, which would provide state tax credits to corporations and businesses that contribute to a voucher fund for students in failing schools.
The legislation is one of the most controversial education bills proposed during the last four years and has stalled in both chambers of the Legislature.
Gov. Chris Christie is another supporter of the bill and pushed for its passage in his State of the State address last week.
In a statement on his appointment, Singleton said he was excited about the opportunity to take on a greater leadership role on the education committee.
“We face many issues in New Jersey, but ensuring a quality education for every child must always be a priority,” he said. “Education truly opens the doors to a better future, and can be the cure to so many of our problems. We have so many great teachers, educators and innovators in New Jersey, and by working together we’ll make great progress and build a better future for all our children.”