STATE OF NEW JERSEY
PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2020 SESSION
Assemblywoman MILA M. JASEY
District 27 (Essex and Morris)
Assemblyman THOMAS P. GIBLIN
District 34 (Essex and Passaic)
Assemblyman BENJIE E. WIMBERLY
District 35 (Bergen and Passaic)
Assemblyman Caputo, Assemblywomen Jimenez, Pintor Marin, Assemblymen McKeon, Coughlin, Assemblywomen Mosquera and Tucker
Establishes procedures for the approval of the closure of a public school.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.
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) or any other section of law to the contrary, a State district superintendent shall present the application to the board of education at a public meeting, and the application shall be noted in the minutes of the meeting, prior to the State district superintendent submitting the 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.
This bill provides that a school district board of education or State district superintendent must obtain approval from the Commissioner of Education prior to implementing a school closure. An application for approval of a school closure must include assurances that the proposed closure: 1) is consistent with the district’s approved long range facilities plan; 2) will not lead to an increased use of temporary facilities; 3) will not contribute to unlawful segregation of student populations; and 4) will not cause unreasonably burdensome transportation requirements for students. These assurances are similar, but not identical, to those currently required under State Board of Education regulations.
The bill also requires that a State district superintendent present the application to the board of education at a public meeting and the application must be noted in the minutes of the meeting prior to submitting a school closure plan to the commissioner. The bill’s provisions would be applicable to any school closure plan submitted for approval on or after January 1, 2014.