ASSEMBLY, No. 2078




INTRODUCED February 7, 2008



Sponsored by:


District 6 (Camden)






     Requires DOE to submit an annual review to the Legislature assessing its performance of district oversight responsibilities.



     As introduced.


An Act concerning performance assessments of the Department of Education of district oversight and supplementing Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes.


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


     1.    Within 90 days of the effective date of P.L.    , c. (C.     ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), the Commissioner of Education, in consultation with the State Board of Education, shall develop and submit to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, the Senate Education Committee, the Assembly Budget Committee, and the Assembly Education Committee preliminary benchmarks to measure the Department of Education’s performance of its school district oversight responsibilities.  The benchmarks shall be deemed approved unless any of the committees disapproves within 30 days of receipt of the preliminary benchmarks.  Any specific objections shall be outlined in a report by the committee and the commissioner shall revise the benchmarks accordingly.


     2.    a. By August 15 of every year, the commissioner shall provide the Legislature with a review of the department’s activities with respect to its oversight of school districts.  The review shall provide information separately for each office, or its successor, listed in subsection b. of this section and shall, at minimum, contain the following:

     (1) a summary of the office’s goals and objectives;

     (2) a work plan detailing how the office anticipates meeting the stated goals and objectives in the upcoming school year;

     (3) an analysis of personnel time and activity during the previous school year; and,

     (4) a report of the department’s success in meeting the benchmarks established pursuant to section 1 of this act.

     b.    The review required pursuant to this section shall contain information on the activities of the following offices or their successors:

     (1) the Office of Budget Review and Fiscal Monitors, including any State monitor and additional staff appointed pursuant to section 2 of P.L.2006, c.15 (C.18A:7A-55);

     (2) the Offices of the Executive County Superintendent of Schools;

     (3) the Office of Abbott Services;

     (4) the Office of District and School Improvement Services;

     (5) the Office of Program Planning and Accountability / Specialized Populations; and,

     (6) the Office of Fiscal Accountability and Compliance.

Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit the commissioner from providing information for additional offices in the review.

     3.    This act shall take effect immediately and the review required pursuant to section 2 shall first apply to the first full school year following the effective date of this act.





     This bill requires the Department of Education to submit an annual review to the Legislature assessing its performance in overseeing school districts.  Within 90 days of the effective date of this bill, the Commissioner of Education, in consultation with the State Board of Education, will provide the Senate Budget and Appropriations, Senate Education, Assembly Budget, and Assembly Education Committees with preliminary benchmarks on department oversight for approval.  The review, which must provide information for certain offices within the department that are responsible for district oversight, must include the office’s goals and objectives, a work plan that outlines how the office will achieve these outcomes, a personnel time and activity report, and a report of the office’s success in meeting established benchmarks in the previous school year. 

     The external performance audit report of the Department of Education submitted in July of 2007 by KPMG pursuant to Joint Resolution No. 3 identified a number of potential barriers in the department that may inhibit its ability to perform its oversight functions.  The annual assessment required by this bill provides a mechanism to ensure that such matters are addressed.