CHAPTER 42

 

An Act concerning certain mandates imposed on public school districts and amending, supplementing and repealing various sections of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

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

 

     1.    Section 1 of P.L.1982, c.163 (C.18A:17-46) is amended to read as follows: 

 

C.18A:17-46  Reporting of act of violence by school employee; annual report; public hearing.

     1.    Any school employee observing or having direct knowledge from a participant or victim of an act of violence shall, in accordance with standards established by the commissioner, file a report describing the incident to the school principal in a manner prescribed by the commissioner, and copy of same shall be forwarded to the district superintendent.

     The principal shall notify the district superintendent of schools of the action taken regarding the incident.  Annually, at a public hearing, the superintendent of schools shall report to the board of education all acts of violence and vandalism which occurred during the previous school year.  Verification of the annual report on violence and vandalism shall be part of the State's monitoring of the school district, and the State Board of Education shall adopt regulations that impose a penalty on a school employee who knowingly falsifies the report.  A board of education shall provide ongoing staff training, in cooperation with the Department of Education, in fulfilling the reporting requirements pursuant to this section.  The majority representative of the school employees shall have access monthly to the number and disposition of all reported acts of school violence and vandalism.

 

     2.    N.J.S.18A:18A-5 is amended to read as follows:

 

Exceptions to requirement for advertising.

     18A:18A-5.  Exceptions to requirement for advertising.  Any contract, the amount of which exceeds the bid threshold, shall be negotiated and awarded by the board of education by resolution at a public meeting without public advertising for bids and bidding therefor if

     a.     The subject matter thereof consists of:

     (1)   Professional services.  The board of education shall in each instance state supporting reasons for its action in the resolution awarding each contract and shall forthwith cause to be printed once, in an official newspaper, a brief notice stating the nature, duration, service and amount of the contract, and that the resolution and contract are on file and available for public inspection in the office of the board of education;

     (2)   Extraordinary unspecifiable services which cannot reasonably be described by written specifications.  The application of this exception as to extraordinary unspecifiable services shall be construed narrowly in favor of open competitive bidding where possible and the Director of the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs is authorized to establish rules and regulations after consultation with the Commissioner of Education limiting its use in accordance with the intention herein expressed; and the board of education shall in each instance state supporting reasons for its action in the resolution awarding the contract for extraordinary unspecifiable services and shall forthwith cause to be printed, in the manner set forth in paragraph (1) of this subsection, a brief notice of the award of such contract;

     (3)   The doing of any work by employees of the board of education;

     (4)   The printing of all legal notices; and legal briefs, records and appendices to be used in any legal proceeding in which the board of education may be a party;

     (5)   Library and educational goods and services;

     (6)   Food supplies, including food supplies for home economics classes, when purchased pursuant to rules and regulations of the State board and in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.18A:18A-6;

     (7)   The supplying of any product or the rendering of any service by a public utility, which is subject to the jurisdiction of the Board of Public Utilities, in accordance with the tariffs and schedules of charges made, charged and exacted, filed with said board;

     (8)   The printing of bonds and documents necessary to the issuance and sale thereof by a board of education;

     (9)   Equipment repair service if in the nature of an extraordinary unspecifiable service and necessary parts furnished in connection with such services, which exception shall be in accordance with the requirements for extraordinary unspecifiable services;

     (10) Insurance, including the purchase of insurance coverage and consultant services, which exception shall be in accordance with the requirements for extraordinary unspecifiable services;

     (11) Publishing of legal notices in newspapers as required by law;

     (12) The acquisition of artifacts or other items of unique intrinsic, artistic or historic character;

     (13) Those goods and services necessary or required to prepare and conduct an election;

     (14) (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1999, c.440.)

     (15) (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1999, c.270).

     (16) (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1999, c.440.)

     (17) The doing of any work by persons with disabilities employed by a sheltered workshop;

     (18) Expenses for travel and conferences;

     (19) The provision or performance of goods or services for the support or maintenance of proprietary computer hardware and software, except that this provision shall not be utilized to acquire or upgrade non-proprietary hardware or acquire or update non-proprietary software;

     (20) Purchases of goods and services at rates set by the Universal Service Fund administered by the Federal Communications Commission;

     (21) Goods and services paid with funds that: are raised by or collected from students to support the purchase of student-oriented items or materials, such as yearbooks, class rings, and a class gift; and are deposited in school or student activity accounts; and require no budget appropriation from the board of education;

     (22) Food services provided by food service management companies pursuant to procedures established by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Child Nutrition Programs;

     (23) Vending machines providing food or drink.

     b.    It is to be made or entered into with the United States of America, the State of New Jersey, county or municipality or any board, body, officer, agency, authority or board of education or any other state or subdivision thereof.

     c.     Bids have been advertised pursuant to N.J.S.18A:18A-4 on two occasions and (1) no bids have been received on both occasions in response to the advertisement, or (2) the board of education has rejected such bids on two occasions because it has determined that they are not reasonable as to price, on the basis of cost estimates prepared for or by the board of education prior to the advertising therefor, or have not been independently arrived at in open competition, or (3) on one occasion no bids were received pursuant to (1) and on one occasion all bids were rejected pursuant to (2), in whatever sequence; any such contract may then be negotiated and may be awarded upon adoption of a resolution by a two-thirds affirmative vote of the authorized membership of the board of education authorizing such a contract; provided, however, that:

     (a)   A reasonable effort is first made by the board of education to determine that the same or equivalent goods or services, at a cost which is lower than the negotiated price, are not available from an agency or authority of the United States, the State of New Jersey or of the county in which the board of education is located, or any municipality in close proximity to the board of education;

     (b)   The terms, conditions, restrictions and specifications set forth in the negotiated contract are not substantially different from those which were the subject of competitive bidding pursuant to N.J.S.18A:18A-4; and

     (c)   Any minor amendment or modification of any of the terms, conditions, restrictions and specifications which were the subject of competitive bidding pursuant to N.J.S.18A:18A-4 shall be stated in the resolution awarding the contract; provided further, however, that if on the second occasion the bids received are rejected as unreasonable as to price, the board of education shall notify each responsible bidder submitting bids on the second occasion of its intention to negotiate, and afford each bidder a reasonable opportunity to negotiate, but the board of education shall not award such contract unless the negotiated price is lower than the lowest rejected bid price submitted on the second occasion by a responsible bidder, is the lowest negotiated price offered by any responsible vendor, and is a reasonable price for such goods or services.

     d.    Whenever a board of education shall determine that a bid was not arrived at independently in open competition pursuant to subsection c.(2) of N.J.S.18A:18A-5, it shall thereupon notify the county prosecutor of the county in which the board of education is located and the Attorney General of the facts upon which its determination is based, and when appropriate, it may institute appropriate proceedings in any State or federal court of competent jurisdiction for a violation of any State or federal antitrust law or laws relating to the unlawful restraint of trade.

     e.     The board of education has solicited and received at least three quotations on materials, supplies or equipment for which a State contract has been issued pursuant to N.J.S.18A:18A-10, and the lowest responsible quotation is at least 10% less than the price the board would be charged for the identical materials, supplies or equipment, in the same quantities, under the State contract.  Any such contract or agreement entered into pursuant to subsection d. or subsection e. may be made, negotiated or awarded only upon adoption of a resolution by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the full membership of the board of education at a meeting thereof authorizing such a contract or agreement.  The purchase order relating to any such contract shall include a notation that the material, supplies, or equipment was purchased at least 10% below the State contract price.  The board of education shall make available to the Director of the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs, upon request, any documents relating to the solicitation and award of the contract, including, but not limited to, quotations, requests for quotations, and resolutions.

 

     3.    N.J.S.18A:19-3 is amended to read as follows:

 

Verification of claims, demands.

     18A:19-3.  All claims and demands, that equal or exceed 15% of the bid threshold amount established pursuant to N.J.S.18A:18A-3, except for payrolls and debt service, shall be verified by affidavit, or by a signed declaration in writing, contained therein or annexed thereto, to the effect that the same are correct in all particulars, that the articles have been furnished or the services rendered as stated therein and that no bonus has been given or received on account thereof. 

 

     4.    Section 2 of P.L.2001, c.298 (C.18A:36-5.1) is amended to read as follows:

 

C.18A:36-5.1  “School Violence Awareness Week”; designated.

     2.    The week beginning with the third Monday in October of each year is designated as "School Violence Awareness Week" in the State of New Jersey. School districts shall observe this week by organizing activities to prevent school violence including, but not limited to, age-appropriate opportunities for student discussion on conflict resolution, issues of student diversity, and tolerance.  Law enforcement personnel shall be invited to join members of the teaching staff in the discussions.  Programs shall also be provided for school board employees that are designed to help them recognize warning signs of school violence and to instruct them on recommended conduct during an incident of school violence.    The Department of Education shall provide guidelines and information to boards of education for use in planning the activities in observance of the week and such funds as are necessary to pay the costs of the required activities and programs.

 

C.18A:36-13.1  Observation of certain holidays by school district.

     5.    A school district may conduct a course of exercises or instruction in accordance with the core curriculum content standards to observe holidays, including, but not limited to, Lincoln's Birthday, Thanksgiving Day, and Arbor Day.

 

Repealer.

     6.    The following sections are repealed:

     N.J.S.18A:36-8; and N.J.S.18A:36-9.

 

     7.    N.J.S.18A:36-13 is amended to read as follows:

 

Patriotic exercises preceding holidays.

     18A:36-13.  Appropriate exercises for the development of a higher spirit of patriotism shall be held in all public schools on the last school day preceding Washington's Birthday (also celebrated as President’s Day), Decoration or Memorial Day, Columbus Day, and Veterans Day.

 

     8.    This act shall take effect on July 1 next following the date of enactment.

 

     Approved February 15, 2007.