SENATE, No. 2344
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
INTRODUCED DECEMBER 15, 1997
By Senator PALAIA
An Act concerning services provided to nonpublic school students and amending P.L.1977, c.192 and P.L.1977, c.193.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 5 of P.L.1977, c.192 (C.18A:46A-5) is amended to read as follows:
5. Auxiliary services shall be provided only upon the consent of the parent or guardian and shall be provided in a location determined by the local board of education [, except that no such services shall be provided in a church or a sectarian school].
(cf: P.L.1977, c.192, s.5)
2. Section 7 of P.L.1977, c.193 (C.18A:46-19.5) is amended to read as follows:
7. Services for children enrolled in nonpublic schools shall be provided only upon the consent of the parent or guardian and shall be provided in a location determined by the local board pursuant to rules and regulations of the State board [, except that no such services shall be provided in a church or sectarian school].
(cf: P.L.1977, c.193, s.7)
3. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill amends New Jersey law concerning the provision of auxiliary and handicapped services to students in nonpublic schools to conform it with the June 23, 1997 United States Supreme Court decision, Agostini v. Felton. In that decision, the court held that publicly funded programs which provide supplemental, remedial instruction to nonpublic school students do not violate the constitutionally required separation between church and state when such programs are held on the premises of sectarian schools.
This decision reverses a ban on publicly funded teachers providing services on sectarian school property which led to the use of trailers and mobile classrooms for the provision of such services at tremendous additional cost. Conforming New Jersey's law on the provision of auxiliary and handicapped services will provide that time will not be wasted by students traveling between schools and makeshift classrooms and will ensure that funds will be more appropriately spent on the actual provision of services.
Provides that remedial programs for nonpublic school students may be held on the premises of the nonpublic school.