Senator MICHAEL J. DOHERTY
District 23 (Hunterdon, Somerset and Warren)
Limits the transportation costs of school districts sending students to county vocational school districts located outside the county of residence.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning county vocational school districts and pupil transportation and amending P.L.1990, c.52.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 71 of P.L.1990, c.52 (C.18A:54-20.1) is amended to read as follows:
71. a. The board of education of each school district or regional school district in any county in which there is a county vocational school district shall send to any of the schools of the county vocational school district each pupil who resides in the school district or regional school district and who has applied for admission to and has been accepted for attendance at any of the schools of the county vocational school district. The board of education shall pay tuition for each of these pupils to the county vocational school district pursuant to subsection c. of this section. The provisions of this section shall not apply to the board of education of a school district or regional school district maintaining a vocational school or schools pursuant to article 2 of chapter 54 of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes.
b. The board of education of a county vocational school district shall receive pupils from districts without the county so far as their facilities may permit.
c. The board of education of a county vocational school district shall receive such funds as may be appropriated by the county pursuant to N.J.S.18A:54-29.2 and shall be entitled to collect and receive from the sending districts in which each pupil attending the vocational school resides, for the tuition of that pupil, except for a post-secondary vocational education pupil, a sum not to exceed the actual cost per pupil as determined for each vocational program classification, according to rules prescribed by the commissioner and approved by the State board. Whenever funds have been appropriated by the county, the county vocational school district may charge a fee in addition to tuition for any pupils who are not residents of the county. The fee shall not exceed the amount of the county's per pupil appropriation to the county vocational school district.
d. The tuition and nonresident fee, if any, shall be established not later than January 15 in advance of the school year by the board of education. The tuition for each program category shall be at the same rate per pupil for each sending district whether within or without the county, and 10% of the tuition amount and nonresident fee, if any, shall be paid on the first of each month from September to June by or on behalf of the board of education of each sending district.
e. (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1991, c.62).
f. Notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.18A:39-1 or any other provision of law to the contrary, the sending district of a pupil attending a school of a county vocational school district shall be responsible for the transportation of that pupil; provided that the per pupil cost of the lowest bid received does not exceed the amount determined pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1981, c.57 (C.18A:39-1a) in the case of transportation provided to a county vocational school district located outside the county in which the sending district is located. If the bid exceeds that cost then the parent, guardian or other person having legal custody of the pupil shall be eligible to receive the amount determined pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1981, c.57 (C.18A:39-1a) toward the cost of the transportation.
(cf: P.L.1991, c.62, s.24)
2. This act shall take effect immediately and shall be first applicable in the 2018-2019 school year.
Under current law a sending school district is responsible for the transportation costs of its resident pupils attending a school of a county vocational school district, whether it is the county vocational school district in the county in which the sending district is located or in another county. In the case of students attending a county vocational school district outside the county of residence, this bill would limit the amount for which the sending district would be responsible to the aid-in-lieu-of transportation amount set annually for students attending nonpublic schools. For the 2017-2018 school year the amount is $1000. If a sending district is unable to provide transportation for that amount or less, the parent or guardian of the pupil would be eligible to receive the aid-in-lieu-of transportation amount toward the cost of the transportation.