SENATE, No. 2087

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED JUNE 18, 2012

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator† M. TERESA RUIZ

District 29 (Essex)

Senator† SHIRLEY K. TURNER

District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Establishes a pilot program in DOE to increase the length of the school day and school year and provides tax credits for corporate contributions to fund the program.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As introduced.

††


An Act concerning the length of the school day and school year and supplementing chapter 6 of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes and P.L.1945, c.162 (C.54:10A-1 et seq.).

 

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

 

†††† 1.††† a.† The Commissioner of Education shall establish a three-year public school district pilot program to increase the length of the school day and school year in the pilot districts.† The goal of the pilot program shall be to study the effects of a longer school day and school year on advancing student achievement, enhancing the overall school learning environment, and increasing student enrichment opportunities and educational offerings.

†††† b.††† A school district which wants to participate in the pilot program shall submit an application to the commissioner.† The application shall provide information on the number of hours that the school day will be increased and the number of days that the school year will be lengthened, and detail how participation in the pilot program will serve to advance the academic achievement of students enrolled in the district.† The application shall include documentation that participation in the pilot program is supported by a majority of school district staff and parents of students enrolled in the district.†

†††† c. †The commissioner shall select up to 25 school districts for participation in the pilot program.† The commissioner shall select districts in the southern, central, and northern regions of the State and shall seek a cross section of school districts from urban, suburban, and rural areas of the State.†

†††† In selecting the pilot school districts, the commissioner shall consider factors related to the programís potential impact on student achievement including, but not limited to, the percentage of district students who are partially proficient on the Statewide assessments, the percentage of district students who graduate from high school, and the percentage of district students who drop out of school prior to graduation.

†††† d.††† No later than June 30 of the third school year following the establishment of the pilot program, the commissioner shall submit to the Governor, and to the Legislature pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1), a report that evaluates the effectiveness of the pilot program in increasing student achievement and high school graduation rates.† The report shall include a recommendation on the advisability of the programís continuation and extension to additional school districts.

 

†††† 2.††† a.† Beginning in the first State fiscal year following the effective date of P.L.†† , c.† (C.††† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), the Director of the Division of Taxation in the Department of Treasury shall establish a three-year program to provide tax credits to corporations which contribute funding to the Department of Education to implement the pilot program established pursuant to section 1 of P.L.†† , c.† (C.†† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

†††† b.††† Subject to the restrictions established pursuant to subsection d. of this section, a taxpayer, upon application to the Director of the Division of Taxation in the Department of Treasury, shall be allowed a credit against the tax imposed pursuant to section 5 of P.L.1945, c.162 (C.54:10A-5) for a privilege period, in an amount equal to 100% of the contributions made by the taxpayer to the department during the privilege period; provided that the taxpayer shall designate at the time the contribution is made that the contribution is made pursuant to P.L.†† , c.† (C.†† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill).

†††† c.†††† The order of priority of the credit allowed under P.L.† ,††††††††††††† c.† (C.† ††) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) and any other credits allowed by law shall be as prescribed by the director.† The amount of the credit applied under P.L.† , c.† (C.†† ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill) against the tax imposed pursuant to section 5 of P.L.1945, c.162 (C.54:10A-5) for a privilege period shall not reduce the tax liability to an amount less than the statutory minimum provided in subsection (e) of section 5 of P.L.1945, c.162 (C.54:10A-5).† An unused amount of credit shall expire at the end of the privilege period.

†††† d.††† In aggregate, the total tax contribution of all participating corporations shall not exceed $24,000,000 in the first State fiscal year, $48,000,000 in the second State fiscal year, and $72,000,000 in the third State fiscal year.† If the sum of the amount of tax credits authorized pursuant to this section in a State fiscal year exceeds the aggregate annual limits established pursuant to this subsection, tax credits shall be allowed in the order in which contributions are made until the limit is reached.

 

†††† 3.††† This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

†††† This bill establishes a three-year public school district pilot program to increase the length of the school day and school year in the pilot districts.† The goal of the pilot program will be to study the effects of a longer school day and school year on advancing student achievement, enhancing the overall school learning environment, and increasing student enrichment opportunities and educational offerings.

†††† Under the bill, a school district which wants to participate in the pilot program will submit an application to the commissioner.† The application must provide information on the number of hours that the school day will be increased and the number of days that the school year will be lengthened, and must include documentation that participation in the pilot program is supported by a majority of school district staff and parents of students enrolled in the district.†

†††† The commissioner will select up to 25 school districts for participation in the pilot program.† In selecting the pilot school districts, the commissioner will consider factors related to the programís potential impact on student achievement.†

†††† The commissioner will submit a report to the Governor and the Legislature no later than June 30 of the third school year following the establishment of the pilot program, which evaluates the effectiveness of the pilot program and includes a recommendation on the advisability of the programís continuation and extension to additional school districts.

†††† Under the bill, the Director of the Division of Taxation in the Department of Treasury will establish a three-year program to provide tax credits to corporations which contribute funding to the Department of Education to fund the costs associated with the pilot program.† The total tax credit of all participating corporations is capped at $24,000,000 the first State fiscal year, $48,000,000 the second State fiscal year, and $72,000,000 the third State fiscal year.† If the sum of the amount of tax credits authorized in a State fiscal year exceeds the aggregate annual limits, tax credits will be allowed in the order in which contributions are made until the limit is reached.