[Second Reprint]

SENATE, No. 134

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2012 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator† RONALD L. RICE

District 28 (Essex)

Senator† SHIRLEY K. TURNER

District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)

Assemblyman† RALPH R. CAPUTO

District 28 (Essex)

Assemblyman† THOMAS P. GIBLIN

District 34 (Essex and Passaic)

Assemblywoman† CLEOPATRA G. TUCKER

District 28 (Essex)

Assemblywoman† BONNIE WATSON COLEMAN

District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)

Assemblyman† BENJIE E. WIMBERLY

District 35 (Bergen and Passaic)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senators Cunningham, Stack, Madden, Ruiz, Assemblyman Chivukula, Assemblywoman Jasey, Assemblyman McKeon and Assemblywoman Mosquera

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

†††† Establishes the Office of Dropout Prevention and Reengagement of Out-of-School Youth in DOE, and the Student Dropout Prevention Task Force.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

†††† As reported by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee on December 17, 2012, with amendments.

††


An Act concerning students who drop out of school and supplementing chapter 4 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.† There is established in the Department of Education the Office of Dropout Prevention and Reengagement of Out-of-School Youth.† The purpose of the office shall be to develop a Statewide strategic plan of action to prevent students from dropping out of school, address the need for the reenrollment of student dropouts, and develop strategies to increase reenrollment.

†††† b.††† The Office of Dropout Prevention and Reengagement of Out-of-School Youth, in consultation with the Student Dropout Prevention Task Force established pursuant to section 2 of P.L.† c.† (pending before the Legislature as this bill), shall at a minimum:

†††† (1)†† collaborate with school districts in the development of a Statewide strategic plan to address the problem of student dropouts;

†††† (2)†† develop and recommend to school districts programs to prevent students from dropping out of school; and

†††† (3)†† address issues associated with the reenrollment of students and develop programs to facilitate the return of such students to the classroom.

†††† c.††† The Commissioner of Education shall appoint a person to head the office who shall be a person qualified by training and experience to perform the duties of the office and shall devote his entire time to the performance of those duties.

 

†††† 2.††† a.† There is established the Student Dropout Prevention Task Force.† The purpose of the task force shall be to analyze the causes of students leaving school prior to graduation, recommend to school districts best practices for reducing the student dropout rate, and† develop strategies to increase the reenrollment of students who have left school.

†††† b.††† The task force shall consist of 1[13] 2[151] 172 Members as follows:

†††† (1)†† the Commissioner of Education, or his designee, who shall serve ex officio;

†††† (2)†† the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections, or his designee, who shall serve ex officio;

†††† (3)†† 2[one member] two members2 of the Senate, 2no more than one of whom shall be of the same political party,2 appointed by the Senate President;

†††† (4)†† 2[one member] two members2 of the General Assembly, 2no more than one of whom shall be of the same political party,2 appointed by the Speaker of the General Assembly; and

†††† (5)†† 1[nine] eleven1 members appointed by the Governor, who shall include: three superintendents of schools, one each from an urban, suburban, and rural school district; two presidents of New Jersey county colleges; two members of the public with demonstrated expertise in issues relating to the work of the task force; 1[and]1 two members employed at a high school in an urban school district with a high student drop out rate, one of whom shall be a principal and one of whom shall be a guidance counselor 1; and two teachers, one of whom shall be employed in an urban school district with a high student drop out rate1.

†††† c.††† Vacancies in the membership of the task force shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointments were made. 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.

†††† d.††† The Commissioner of Education, or the commissionerís designee, shall serve as chairperson of the task force.† The task force shall organize as soon as practicable following the appointment of its members and shall select a vice-chairperson from among its members.† The chairperson shall appoint a secretary who need not be a member of the task force.

†††† e.††† 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 to it for its purposes.

 

†††† 3.††† It shall be the duty of the task force to analyze the causes of students leaving school prior to graduation and to recommend best practices for reducing the student dropout rate and increasing the number of students who re-enroll in school.† The task force shall, at a minimum:

†††† a.††† examine current data, research, programs, and initiatives concerning student dropouts;

†††† b.††† examine reasons why students leave school;

†††† c.††† identify effective ways for school districts to reduce the number of students who leave school prior to graduation and increase student engagement while in school;

†††† d.††† develop mechanisms to increase the reenrollment of students who have left school; and

†††† e.††† develop recommendations on the most effective ways for school districts to support students in order to prevent them from leaving school.

 

†††† 4.††† a.† The task force shall issue a final report to the Governor, and to the Legislature pursuant to section 2 of P.L. 1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1), containing its findings and recommendations, including any recommendations for legislation that it deems appropriate, no later than nine months after the task force organizes.

†††† b.††† The task force shall expire on the 30th day after the issuance of its final report.

 

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