Senator RONALD L. RICE
District 28 (Essex)
Senator SHIRLEY K. TURNER
District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)
Senators Gill and Ruiz
Establishes procedures for the approval of the closure of a public school.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
As reported by the Senate Education Committee on January 30, 2014, with amendments.
An Act concerning procedures for closing a public school and supplementing chapter 33 of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. a. As used in this section, “school closure” means the termination of the use of a school building, other than a temporary facility, that necessitates the reassignment of current and future students to the remaining school buildings of the school district or to a newly-constructed school building.
b. A board of education or State district superintendent shall obtain the approval of the Commissioner of Education prior to implementing a school closure. An application for the approval of a school closure shall include assurances that:
(1) the school closure is consistent with the district’s approved long range facilities plan because there is either sufficient capacity in the remaining school buildings to house the district’s students for the succeeding five years, or a feasibility study has demonstrated that the benefits of constructing a new school building are greater than the benefits of rehabilitating any school building that is proposed to be closed, and does not increase the number of unhoused students in the district’s remaining schools;
(2) the school closure will not result in an increased use of temporary facilities;
(3) the reassignment of students to other schools will not produce, sustain, or contribute to unlawful segregation of student populations on the basis of race or national origin, socioeconomic status, disability status, or English language proficiency; and
(4) the reassignment of students to other schools will not lead to unreasonably burdensome transportation requirements for students.
c. Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 2 and 6 of P.L.1987, c.399 (C.18A:7A-35 and C.18A:7A-39) 1or any other section of law1 to the contrary, a State district superintendent shall obtain the approval of the board of education prior to submitting an application for approval of a school closure to the commissioner.
d. The commissioner shall provide a school district with written notification of the determination regarding the school closure.
2. This act shall take effect immediately and shall be applicable to any application for the approval of a school closure submitted on or after January 1, 2014.