ASSEMBLY, No. 1613

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2012 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  JON M. BRAMNICK

District 21 (Morris, Somerset and Union)

Assemblyman  GORDON M. JOHNSON

District 37 (Bergen)

Assemblywoman  CONNIE WAGNER

District 38 (Bergen and Passaic)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes Educational Security Task Force.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel

  


An Act establishing an Educational Security Task Force.

 

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

 

     1.    There is established an Educational Security Task Force.  The purpose of the task force shall be to assist the State Board of Education in developing Statewide security guidelines and standards for New Jersey public school districts.  The goal of the guidelines and standards shall be to empower public schools to develop plans, procedures, and tools to provide safe and secure learning environments for students and district employees.

 

     2.    The task force shall consist of 15 voting members as follows: as ex officio members of the task force, the Commissioner of Education, the Director of the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, and the chief executive officer of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority, or their designees; one member of the Senate to be appointed by the Senate President; one member of the Senate to be appointed by the Senate Minority Leader; one member of the General Assembly to be appointed by the Speaker of the General Assembly; one member of the General Assembly to be appointed by the Minority Leader of the General Assembly; and eight public members to be appointed by the Governor, including one member who is a representative of the New Jersey Association of School Business Officials, one member who is a representative of the New Jersey Education Association, one member who is a representative of the New Jersey School Boards Association, one member who is a representative of the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association, and four members with expertise in the development or implementation of school security standards or technology.

 

     3.    All appointments to the task force shall be made within 30 days after the effective date of this act.  A legislator appointed to the task force shall serve during the two-year legislative term in which the appointment is made.  Vacancies in the membership of the task force shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointments were made. 

 

     4.    The task force shall organize as soon as may be practicable after the appointment of its members, but no later than 60 days following enactment. 

 

     5.    The Commissioner of Education shall serve as the chair of the task force.  The task force shall meet at the call of the chair.  A majority of the full membership of the task force shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of task force business.  Action may be taken and motions adopted by the task force at any meeting thereof by the affirmative vote of a majority of the full membership of the task force.  The task force shall appoint a secretary who need not be a member of the task force. 

 

     6.    Members of the task force shall serve without compensation, but shall be reimbursed for necessary expenditures incurred in the performance of their duties as members of the task force.

 

     7.    The Department of Education shall provide such stenographic, clerical, and other administrative assistants, and such professional staff, as the task force requires to carry out its work. The task force shall also be entitled to call to its assistance and avail itself of the services of the employees of any State, county, or municipal department, board, bureau, commission, or agency as it may require and as may be available for its purposes.

 

     8.    a.  It shall be the duty of the task force to identify benchmarked best practices in educational security to address physical and cyber vulnerabilities and to develop Statewide security guidelines and standards for recommendation to the State Board of Education.  The Statewide security guidelines and standards developed by the task force shall include:

     (1)   long-range school preparedness guidelines including, but not limited to, minimum procedures, processes, and technology requirements that a school shall have in place to address potential breaches of security; and

     (2)   minimum building security and assessment standards for existing school facilities and new construction including, but not limited to, standards for: architectural design for new construction, assessing and abating security risks in existing facilities, emergency communication plans, staff training, cyber security, and addressing elevated risk factors including proximity to a chemical facility or nuclear power plant.

     b.    In developing its recommendations, the task force shall: research effective strategies that have been employed in other states; refer to and incorporate existing State research, data, recommendations, and standards, including the provisions of the School District Security Best Practice Field Checklist prepared in 2005 by the Department of Education and the New Jersey State Police, and the Homeland Security Standards for Educational Facilities published by the New Jersey Schools Development Authority; and solicit public input and support in the development of its recommendations. 

     c.     The task force is authorized, within the limits of funds appropriated or otherwise made available to it for its purpose, to commission professional engineering firms and certified information systems professionals in identifying, interviewing, researching, and documenting security best practices. 

 

     9.    Within two years following the effective date of this act, the task force shall submit its recommendations to the State Board of Education.

 

     10.  This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

This bill establishes a 15-member Educational Security Task Force to assist the State Board of Education in developing Statewide security guidelines and standards for New Jersey school districts.  The goal of the guidelines and standards will be to empower public schools to develop plans, procedures, and tools to provide safe and secure learning environments for students and district employees.

     It will be the duty of the task force to identify benchmarked best practices in educational security to address physical and cyber vulnerabilities and to develop Statewide security guidelines and standards for recommendation to the State Board of Education.  The guidelines and standards will include long-range school preparedness guidelines and minimum building security and assessment standards for existing school facilities and new construction. 

     In developing its recommendations, the task force will be required to: research effective strategies that have been employed in other states; refer to and incorporate existing State research, data, recommendations, and standards, including the provisions of the School District Security Best Practice Field Checklist, and the Homeland Security Standards for Educational Facilities published by the New Jersey Schools Development Authority; and solicit public input and support in the development of its recommendations.  Additionally, the task force would be authorized to commission professional engineering firms and certified information systems professionals in identifying, interviewing, researching, and documenting security best practices. 

The task force will consist of the Commissioner of Education, the Director of the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, the chief executive officer of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority, four members of the Legislature, and eight public members appointed by the Governor, including four representatives of organizations that represent the New Jersey education community and four members with expertise in the development or implementation of school security standards or technology.