NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Tuesday brings the end of summer vacation for many New Jersey students, and this year marks three big changes for them: Local control of schools in Newark, seat belts on school buses and the return of longer recesses.

This year is the first full school year the City of Newark is in control of its public schools after more than 30 years of state control, reports CBS2’s Janelle Burrell.

The city is marking the occasion by dispatching 1,000 of the district’s employees to greet students as they arrive.

For kids across New Jersey, this first day back comes with good news: the state is now requiring recess for all students in elementary school.

Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill into law last month mandating at least 20 minute recess period every day.

Supporters of the bill say too many schools were shortening recess or skipping it all together.

In addition, a new law is now in effect for school buses in the state as well.

Three-point seatbelts with across-the-shoulder protection are being phased in as mandatory for new buses in New Jersey.

The new regulations were passed after overturned school bus crashes this past spring in Cherry Hill, East Brunswick and then in Mount Olive, where a student and teacher were killed.


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