Assemblywoman MILA M. JASEY
District 27 (Essex)
Revises the dates for submission and approval of school district applications for designation as a choice district.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning the interdistrict public school choice program and amending P.L.2010, c.65.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 4 of P.L.2010, c.65 (C.18A:36B-17) is amended to read as follows:
4. a. A proposed choice district shall submit an application to the commissioner no later than [April] August 30 in the year prior to the school year in which the choice program will be implemented; except that for the first year of implementation of the program pursuant to P.L.2010, c.65 (C.18A:36B-14 et seq.), the application shall be submitted no later than the date specified by the commissioner. The application shall include, but not be limited to, the following information:
(1) a description of programs and schools and the number of student openings in each school identified by grade level which are available for selection;
(2) the provision for the creation of a parent information center;
(3) a description of the student application process and any criteria required for admission; and
(4) an analysis of the potential impact of the program on student population diversity in all potential participating districts and a plan for maintaining diversity in all potential participating districts, which plan shall not be used to supersede a court-ordered or administrative court-ordered desegregation plan.
The commissioner shall notify a choice district of the approval or disapproval of its application no later than [July] November 30, and the reasons for disapproval shall be included in the notice; except that for the first year of implementation of the program pursuant to P.L.2010, c.65 (C.18A:36B-14 et seq.), notification shall be no later than the date specified by the commissioner.
The commissioner shall notify the State Board of Education of the approval of a choice district application and the State board shall include a public notice of the approval on the next agenda for its public monthly meeting.
b. The commissioner may take appropriate action, consistent with State and federal law, to provide that student population diversity in all districts participating in a choice district program is maintained. Student population diversity shall include, but not be limited to, the ethnic, racial, economic, and geographic diversity of a district's student population. The actions may include, but need not be limited to:
(1) directing a choice district to take appropriate steps to implement successfully the district's plan for maintaining student population diversity;
(2) restricting the number of choice students from a sending district or the authority of a choice district to accept choice students in the future; and
(3) revoking approval of the choice district. Any choice student who is attending a designated school in a choice district at the time of the commissioner's revocation of approval shall be entitled to continue to be enrolled in that school until graduation.
(P.L.2010, c.65, s.4)
2. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill amends the “Interdistrict Public School Choice Program Act,” P.L.2010, c.65, to adjust the date by which a school district may submit an application to the Commissioner of Education to be designated as a choice district, and the date by which the commissioner must make a determination on the application. Under current law a school district must submit its application by April 30 of the year prior to the school year in which the choice program will be implemented, and the commissioner must render a decision on the application by July 30. Under this bill a school district would be required to submit its application by August 30, and the commissioner would be required to make a determination on the application by November 30.