NJ Quality Single Accountability Continuum

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18A:7A-3 Definitions.

3. For the purposes of this act, unless the context clearly requires a different meaning:

"Administrative order" means a written directive ordering specific corrective action by a district which has shown insufficient compliance with the quality performance indicators.

"Highly skilled professional" means a designee of the commissioner deemed to have the skills and experience necessary to assist a school district in improving its effectiveness or to provide oversight in a school district in one or more of the five key components of school district effectiveness.

"Joint Committee on the Public Schools" means the committee created pursuant to P.L.1975, c.16 (C.52:9R-1 et seq.).

"Technical assistance" means guidance and support provided to a school district to enable the district to meet State and federal policy and regulatory requirements and to ensure the provision of a thorough and efficient education. "Technical assistance" may include, but shall not be limited to, support of the teaching and learning process and overall school district effectiveness.

L.1975,c.212,s.3; amended 1978, c.158, s.4; 1979, c.207, s.3; 1979, c.353; 1979, c.388, s.4; 1980, c.105, s.2; 1981, c.415, ss.4,9(amended 1982, c.100); 1985, c.50, s.1; 1986, c.10; 1990, c.52, s.30; 1996, c.138, s.34; 2005, c.235, s.1; 2007, c.16, s.1.

18A:7A-10 New Jersey Quality Single Accountability Continuum for evaluating school performance.

10. For the purpose of evaluating the thoroughness and efficiency of all the public schools of the State, the commissioner, with the approval of the State board and after review by the Joint Committee on the Public Schools, shall develop and administer the New Jersey Quality Single Accountability Continuum for evaluating the performance of each school district. The goal of the New Jersey Quality Single Accountability Continuum shall be to ensure that all districts are operating at a high level of performance. The system shall be based on an assessment of the degree to which the thoroughness and efficiency standards established pursuant to section 4 of P.L.2007, c.260 (C.18A:7F-46) are being achieved and an evaluation of school district capacity in the following five key components of school district effectiveness: instruction and program; personnel; fiscal management; operations; and governance. A school district's capacity and effectiveness shall be determined using quality performance indicators comprised of standards for each of the five key components of school district effectiveness. The quality performance indicators shall take into consideration a school district's performance over time, to the extent feasible. Based on a district's compliance with the indicators, the commissioner shall assess district capacity and effectiveness and place the district on a performance continuum that will determine the type and level of oversight and technical assistance and support the district receives.

L.1975, c.212, s.10; amended 1996, c.138, s.35; 2005, c.235, s.2; 2007, c.16, s.2; 2007, c.260, s.22.

18A:7A-11 Reports by school districts, commissioner; interim review.

11. Each school district and county vocational school district shall make a report of its progress in complying with all of the quality performance indicators adopted pursuant to section 10 of P.L.1975, c.212 (C.18A:7A-10) every three years, pursuant to a schedule to be established by the commissioner. In the years intervening between the district's three-year review, whenever the commissioner determines that conditions exist in a district that significantly and negatively impact the educational program or operations of the district, the commissioner may direct that the department immediately conduct a comprehensive review of the district. Nothing in this section shall preclude the commissioner, in his discretion, from conducting a random review of a school district to assess the district's compliance with the quality performance indicators.

The district reports shall be submitted to the commissioner on a date and in such form as prescribed by the commissioner, who shall make them the basis for an annual report to the Governor and the Legislature, describing the condition of education in New Jersey, the efforts of New Jersey schools in meeting the standards of a thorough and efficient education, the steps underway to correct deficiencies in school performance, and the progress of New Jersey schools in comparison to other state education systems in the United States.

L.1975,c.212,s.11; amended 1976, c.97, s.4; 1996, c.138, s.36; 2000, c.72, s.31; 2005, c.235, s.3; 2007, c.16, s.3

18A:7A-13. Biennial message of Governor to legislature

Thereafter, the Governor shall deliver a biennial message to the Legislature on the progress of New Jersey's schools in providing a thorough and efficient education and recommending legislative action, if appropriate.

L.1975, c. 212, s. 13, eff. July 1, 1975.

18A:7A-14 Review, evaluation of reports, performance continuum placement, procedure.

14. a. The commissioner shall review the results of the report submitted pursuant to sections 10 and 11 of P.L.1975, c.212 (C.18A:7A-10 and 18A:7A-11) and after examination of all relevant data, including student assessment data, determine where on the performance continuum the district shall be placed. The commissioner, through collaboration, shall establish a mechanism for parent, school employee and community resident input into the review process. If the commissioner finds that a school district or county vocational school district satisfies 80 percent to 100 percent of the quality performance indicators in each of the five key components of school district effectiveness, the commissioner shall issue to the district a letter of recognition designating the district as a high performing district, provided that the district has submitted to the department a statement of assurance which attests that the contents of the report are valid. The commissioner shall recommend that the State board certify the school district for a period of three years as providing a thorough and efficient system of education, contingent on continued progress in meeting the quality performance indicators.

b. If a school district satisfies 50 percent to 79 percent of the quality performance indicators in any of the five key components of school district effectiveness, the commissioner shall require the district to develop an improvement plan to address the quality performance indicators with which the district has not complied and to increase district capacity through the provision of technical assistance and other measures designed to meet the district's needs. The improvement plan shall be submitted to and approved by the commissioner. In accordance with the improvement plan, the commissioner shall provide technical assistance to the district. If necessary, the commissioner may authorize an in-depth evaluation of the district to determine the causes for the district's noncompliance with the quality performance indicators.

The commissioner shall review the district's progress in implementing the improvement plan not less than every six months. If the commissioner finds, based on those reviews, that after two years the district has not satisfied 80 to 100 percent of the quality performance indicators in each of the five key components of school district effectiveness, the commissioner may require the district to amend the improvement plan. The amended plan shall be submitted to the commissioner for approval.

If a district effectively implements its improvement plan and is able to satisfy 80 to 100 percent of the quality performance indicators in each of the five key components of school district effectiveness through the interventions set forth in this subsection, the commissioner shall issue the district a letter of recognition designating the district as a high performing district. The commissioner shall recommend that the State board certify the school district for a period of three years as providing a thorough and efficient system of education, contingent on continued progress in meeting the quality performance indicators. If the district has not effectively implemented its improvement plan and has not satisfied 80 to 100 percent of the quality performance indicators in each of the five key components of school district effectiveness through the interventions set forth in this subsection, the commissioner shall issue the district a letter detailing the areas in which the district remains deficient.

c. (1) If a school district satisfies less than 50 percent of the quality performance indicators in four or fewer of the five key components of school district effectiveness, the commissioner shall authorize an in-depth evaluation of the district's performance and capacity unless the commissioner determines that a comprehensive evaluation of the district by or directed by the department has occurred within the last year. Based on the findings and recommendations of that evaluation, the district, in cooperation with the department, shall develop an improvement plan to address the quality performance indicators with which the district has not complied and to increase district capacity through the provision of technical assistance and other measures designed to meet the district's needs. The improvement plan shall be submitted to the commissioner for approval. Upon approval, the commissioner shall provide the district with the technical assistance outlined in the plan and shall assure that the district's budget provides the resources necessary to implement the improvement plan.

The commissioner shall review the district's progress in implementing the improvement plan not less than every six months. The reviews shall include an on-site visit. If the commissioner finds, based on those reviews, that after two years the district has not satisfied at least 50% of the quality performance indicators in each of the key components of school district effectiveness, the commissioner may require the district to amend the improvement plan. The amended plan shall be submitted to the commissioner for approval.

Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to prohibit the State board from directing the district to enter partial State intervention prior to the expiration of the two-year period.

(2) The district's improvement plan may include the appointment by the commissioner of one or more highly skilled professionals to provide technical assistance to the district in the areas in which it has failed to satisfy the quality performance indicators. Each highly skilled professional shall work collaboratively with the district to increase local capacity in the areas of need identified in the improvement plan. The cost for the compensation of the highly skilled professionals shall be a shared expense of the school district and the State, with the State assuming one-half of the cost and the school district being responsible for one-half of the cost.

(3) If the district satisfies less than 50% of the quality performance indicators in one to four of the five key components of school district effectiveness, the commissioner may also order the district board of education to show cause why an administrative order placing the district under partial State intervention should not be implemented. The plenary hearing before a judge of the Office of Administrative Law pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), upon said order to show cause, shall be conducted on an expedited basis and in the manner prescribed by subdivision B of article 2 of chapter 6 of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes. In the proceeding the State shall have the burden of showing that the recommended administrative order is not arbitrary, unreasonable or capricious.

If, after a plenary hearing, the commissioner determines that it is necessary to take corrective action, the commissioner shall have the power to order necessary budgetary changes within the district or other measures the commissioner deems appropriate to establish a thorough and efficient system of education.

If the board fails to show cause why an administrative order placing the district under partial State intervention should not be implemented, the commissioner shall recommend to the State board that it issue an order placing the district under partial State intervention. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary and upon its determining that the school district is not providing a thorough and efficient system of education, the State board may place the district under partial State intervention. Nothing herein shall limit the right of any party to appeal the State board's order to the Superior Court, Appellate Division.

(4) If the position of superintendent of schools is vacant in a district under partial State intervention, the State board upon the recommendation of the commissioner may appoint a superintendent who shall serve for an initial period not to exceed two years.

(5) In addition to the highly skilled professionals appointed pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection to provide technical assistance to the district in implementing its improvement plan, the commissioner, in consultation with the local board of education, may appoint one or more highly skilled professionals in a district under partial State intervention to provide direct oversight in the district regarding the quality performance indicators with which the district has failed to comply. The highly skilled professional shall represent the interests of the commissioner in all matters relating to the component of school district effectiveness that is under intervention and over which the highly skilled professional is providing direct oversight. The powers and authorities of the highly skilled professional shall include, but not be limited to:

(a) overseeing the operations of the district in the area of intervention over which the highly skilled professional is assigned to provide direct oversight;

(b) ensuring the development and implementation of the district improvement plan with respect to the area over which the highly skilled professional is assigned to provide direct oversight;

(c) overriding a chief school administrator's action and a vote by the board of education regarding matters under direct oversight of the highly skilled professional;

(d) attending all meetings of the board of education, including closed sessions; and

(e) obligating district funds for matters relating to the area under State intervention over which the highly skilled professional is providing direct oversight.

In the event that there is a need to hire, promote, or terminate employees working in the area of intervention over which the highly skilled professional is assigned to provide direct oversight, the hiring, promotion, and termination of those employees shall be determined by the State board upon the recommendation of the commissioner.

The highly skilled professional shall work collaboratively with the superintendent, the board of education and the employees of the district working in the area of the oversight to address areas identified in the improvement plan.

When the commissioner appoints more than one highly skilled professional in a district under partial State intervention, he shall delineate the scope and extent of authority of each highly skilled professional appointed and shall establish a decision-making hierarchy for the highly skilled professionals and personnel in the district. The highly skilled professional shall report directly to the commissioner or his designee on a bi-weekly basis and shall report monthly to the board of education and members of the public at the regularly scheduled board of education meeting. The salary of a highly skilled professional appointed pursuant to this paragraph shall be fixed by the commissioner and adjusted from time to time as the commissioner deems appropriate. The cost of the salaries of the highly skilled professionals shall be a shared expense of the school district and the State, with the State assuming one-half of the cost and the school district being responsible for one-half of the cost. For the purpose of the New Jersey Tort Claims Act, N.J.S.59:1-1 et seq., the highly skilled professional appointed pursuant to this paragraph shall be considered a State officer.

(6) With the State board's approval the commissioner may appoint up to three additional members to the board of education of a district under partial State intervention. The board of education's membership shall remain increased by these additional seats until the State withdraws from intervention. If the commissioner appoints three additional members pursuant to this paragraph, the commissioner shall appoint one of these additional members from a list of three candidates provided by the local governing body of the municipality in which the school district is located. The commissioner shall make every effort to appoint residents of the district. A board member appointed by the commissioner shall be a nonvoting member of the board and shall have all the other rights, powers and privileges of a member of the board. A board member appointed by the commissioner shall report to the commissioner on the activities of the board of education and shall provide assistance to the board of education on such matters as deemed appropriate by the commissioner, including, but not limited to, the applicable laws and regulations governing specific school board action. A member appointed by the commissioner shall serve for a term of two years. The commissioner shall obtain approval of the State board for any extension of the two-year term. Any vacancy in the membership appointed by the commissioner shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.

If a board of education is subject to additional appointments pursuant to section 67 of P.L.2002, c.43 (C.52:27BBB-63), then the provisions of this paragraph shall not be applicable during the period in which the board is subject to those appointments.

Six months following the district being placed under partial State intervention, the commissioner shall determine whether or not the board members he has appointed shall become voting members of the board of education. If the commissioner determines that the board members he has appointed shall become voting members, the school district shall have 30 days to appeal the commissioner's determination to the State Board of Education.

(7) Based on the district's success in implementing its improvement plan, the commissioner shall make a determination to withdraw from intervention in one or more of the areas that have been under State intervention, to leave one or more areas under State intervention or to recommend to the State Board of Education that the district be placed under full State intervention.

If the commissioner determines that the district has successfully implemented the improvement plan and achieved sufficient progress in satisfying the performance indicators in one or more areas under intervention, the State shall withdraw from intervention in the district in those areas.

d. (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2005, c.235.)

e. (1) If a school district satisfies less than 50 percent of the quality performance indicators in each of the five key components of school district effectiveness, the commissioner shall authorize an in-depth evaluation of the district's performance and capacity, unless the commissioner determines that a comprehensive evaluation of the district by or directed by the department has occurred within the last year. Based on the findings and recommendations of that evaluation, the district, in cooperation with the department, shall develop an improvement plan to address the quality performance indicators with which the district has not complied and to increase district capacity through the provision of technical assistance and other measures designed to meet the district's needs. The improvement plan shall be submitted to the commissioner for approval. Upon approval, the commissioner shall provide the district with the technical assistance outlined in the plan and shall assure that the district's budget provides the resources necessary to implement the improvement plan.

The commissioner shall review the district's progress in implementing the improvement plan not less than every six months. The reviews shall include an on-site visit. If the commissioner finds, based on those reviews, that after two years the district has not satisfied at least 50% of the quality performance indicators in each of the key components of school district effectiveness, the commissioner may require the district to amend the improvement plan. The amended plan shall be submitted to the commissioner for approval.

Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to prohibit the State board from directing the district to enter full State intervention prior to the expiration of the two-year period.

(2) The district's improvement plan may include the appointment by the commissioner of one or more highly skilled professionals to provide technical assistance to the district in the areas in which it has failed to satisfy the quality performance indicators. Each highly skilled professional shall work collaboratively with the district to increase local capacity in the areas of need identified in the improvement plan. The cost for the compensation of the highly skilled professionals shall be a shared expense of the school district and the State, with the State assuming one-half of the cost and the school district being responsible for one-half of the cost.

L.1975,c.212,s.14; amended 1976, c.97, s.5; 1987, c.398, s.2; 1990, c.52, s.31; 1991, c.3, s.3; 1996, c.138, s.37; 2005, c.235, s.4; 2007, c.16, s.4.

18A:7A-14a Findings, declarations relative to school district evaluation and monitoring.

24. The Legislature finds and declares that:

a. It is the constitutional obligation of the Legislature to provide all children in New Jersey with a thorough and efficient system of free public schools;

b. The breadth and scope of such a system are defined by the Legislature through the commissioner and the State board pursuant to P.L.2007, c.260 (C.18A:7F-43 et al.) so as to insure quality educational programs for all children;

c. It is imperative that the program in every school district in this State includes all of the major elements identified as essential for that system consistent with standards adopted pursuant to section 10 of P.L.1975, c.212 (C.18A:7A-10);

d. It is the responsibility of the State to insure that any school district which is shown to be deficient in one or more of these major elements takes corrective actions without delay in order to remedy those deficiencies;

e. This responsibility can be fulfilled, in addition to the mechanism for ensuring compliance established pursuant to section 6 of P.L.1996, c.138 (C.18A:7F-6), through an effective and efficient system of evaluation and monitoring which will insure quality and comprehensive instructional programming in every school district and provide for immediate and direct corrective action to insure that identified deficiencies do not persist, and which does so within the context of the maximum of local governance and management and the minimum of paperwork and unnecessary procedural requirements.

L.2007, c.16, s.24; amended 2007, c.260, s.23.

18A:7A-15 Hearing on State intervention, corrective action; full State intervention; withdrawal.

15. a. In addition to procedures established pursuant to subsection e. of section 14 of P.L.1975, c.212 (C.18A:7A-14), the commissioner may order the local board to show cause why an administrative order placing the district under full State intervention should not be implemented. The plenary hearing before a judge of the Office of Administrative Law, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), upon said order to show cause, shall be conducted on an expedited basis and in the manner prescribed by subdivision B of article 2 of chapter 6 of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes. In the proceeding the State shall have the burden of showing that the recommended administrative order is not arbitrary, unreasonable or capricious.

If, after a plenary hearing, the commissioner determines that it is necessary to take corrective action, the commissioner shall have the power to order necessary budgetary changes within the district or other measures the commissioner deems appropriate to establish a thorough and efficient system of education.

If the board fails to show cause why an administrative order placing the district under full State intervention should not be implemented, the commissioner shall recommend to the State board that it issue an order placing the district under full State intervention. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary and upon its determining that the school district is not providing a thorough and efficient system of education, the State board may place the district under full State intervention. Nothing herein shall limit the right of any party to appeal the State board's order to the Superior Court, Appellate Division.

b. In districts under full State intervention the State board, upon the recommendation of the commissioner, may appoint a State district superintendent to serve for an initial term not to exceed three years.

c. In addition to the highly skilled professionals appointed pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection e. of section 14 of P.L.1975, c.212 (C.18A:7A-14), to provide technical assistance to the district in implementing its improvement plan, the commissioner, in consultation with the local board of education, may appoint one or more highly skilled professionals in a district under full State intervention to provide direct oversight in the district regarding the quality performance indicators with which the district has failed to comply. The highly skilled professional shall represent the interests of the commissioner in all matters relating to the component of school district effectiveness that is under the intervention and over which the highly skilled professional is providing direct oversight. The powers and authorities of the highly skilled professional shall include, but not be limited to:

(1) overseeing the operations of the district in the area of intervention over which the highly skilled professional is assigned to provide direct oversight;

(2) ensuring the development and implementation of the district improvement plan with respect to the area over which the highly skilled professional is assigned to provide direct oversight;

(3) overriding a chief school administrator's action and a vote by the board of education regarding matters under direct oversight of the highly skilled professional;

(4) attending all meetings of the board of education, including closed sessions; and

(5) obligating district funds for matters relating to the area under State intervention over which the highly skilled professional is providing direct oversight.

The highly skilled professional shall work collaboratively with the superintendent or the State district superintendent, as applicable, the board of education and the employees of the district working in the area of the oversight to address areas identified in the improvement plan.

When the commissioner appoints more than one highly skilled professional in a district under full State intervention, he shall delineate the scope and extent of authority of each highly skilled professional appointed and shall establish a decision-making hierarchy for the highly skilled professionals, district personnel and the State district superintendent, if applicable. The highly skilled professional shall report directly to the commissioner or his designee on a bi-weekly basis and shall report monthly to the board of education and members of the public at the regularly scheduled board of education meeting. The salary of the highly skilled professional appointed pursuant to this paragraph shall be fixed by the commissioner and adjusted from time to time as the commissioner deems appropriate. The cost of the salaries of the highly skilled professionals shall be a shared expense of the school district and the State, with the State assuming one-half of the cost and the school district being responsible for one-half of the cost. For the purpose of the New Jersey Tort Claims Act, N.J.S.59:1-1 et seq., the highly skilled professional appointed pursuant to this paragraph shall be considered a State officer.

d. If the district has successfully implemented the improvement plan and achieved sufficient progress in satisfying the performance indicators in one or more areas under intervention, the State shall withdraw from intervention in the district in those areas in accordance with the provisions of section 16 of P.L.1987, c.399 (C.18A:7A-49).

L.1975,c.212,s.15; amended 1987, c.398, s.3; 2005, c.235, s.5; 2007, c.16, s.5.

18A:7A-15.1 Authority of State board.

5. Pursuant to section 15 of P.L.1975, c.212 (C.18A:7A-15), the State board shall have authority to:

a. approve the appointment by the commissioner of up to three additional members to the school board;

b. upon recommendation of the commissioner create a school district under full State intervention; and

c. appoint, upon recommendation of the commissioner, a State district superintendent of schools to direct the operations of the district in accordance with the improvement plan established pursuant to section 14 of P.L.1975, c.212 (C.18A:7A-14).

L.1987,c.398,s.5; amended 2005, c.235, s.6; 2007, c.16, s.6.

18A:7A-16. Failure or refusal to comply with administrative order; application to court for order directing compliance
Should the local board of education fail or refuse to comply with an administrative order issued pursuant to section 15 of this act, the State board shall apply to the Superior Court by a proceeding in lieu of prerogative writ for an order directing the local school board to comply with such administrative order.

L.1975, c. 212, s. 16, eff. July 1, 1975.

18A:7A-29. Powers of state board, commissioner or local boards; effect of act

Nothing in this act shall be construed to deny the State board, commissioner or local boards of education powers granted to them elsewhere in Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes, except as expressly provided herein.

L.1975, c. 212, s. 46, eff. July 1, 1975.

18A:7A-30. State board of education; powers and duties

The State Board of Education shall promulgate rules and adopt policies, subject to the "Administrative Procedure Act." P.L.1968, c. 410 (C. 52:14B-1 et seq.), make all determinations and exercise such powers of visitation as are necessary for the proper administration of this act.

L.1975, c. 212, s. 47, eff. July 1, 1975.

18A:7A-31.2 Report on order to establish school district under full State intervention.

3. Whenever the State Board of Education issues an administrative order establishing a school district under full State intervention pursuant to section 15 of P.L.1975, c.212 (C.18A:7A-15), the commissioner shall immediately inform the Joint Committee on the Public Schools of that administrative order, and shall advise the committee as to the causes of the district's failure to achieve the requisite compliance with the quality performance indicators.

L.1987,c.400,s.3; amended 2005, c.235, s.7.

18A:7A-31.3 Improvement plan; report on progress; monitoring.

4. a. Within six months following the establishment of a school district under full State intervention, the commissioner shall present to the Joint Committee on the Public Schools the improvement plan developed by the district.

b. On an annual basis the commissioner shall provide a report to the committee on the progress made in the implementation of the improvement plan and the prospects for the State's withdrawal from intervention.

c. The Joint Committee on the Public Schools, in cooperation with the commissioner, may develop a plan for monitoring the administration of a school district under full State intervention and the implementation of the improvement plan. The plan developed by the committee shall include provisions for independent documentation and assessment.

L.1987,c.400,s.4; amended 2005, c.235, s.8.

18A:7A-32. Severability

If any clause, sentence, subdivision, paragraph, subsection or section of this act is held to be unconstitutional or invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, subsection or section thereof directly involved in the controversy in which said judgment shall have been rendered.

L.1975, c. 212, s. 53, eff. July 1, 1975.

18A:7A-33. Repeals

All acts and parts of acts inconsistent with this act are repealed, and without limiting the general effect of this act in repealing acts so inconsistent herewith, the following acts and parts of acts together with all amendments and supplements thereto are specifically repealed:

N.J.S. 18A:13-22

N.J.S. 18A:13-25

N.J.S. 18A:38-2.1

N.J.S. 18A:58-1 to 18A:58-5.4, inclusive

P.L.1968, c. 340 (C. 18A:58-5.5)

P.L.1973, c. 224 (C. 18A:58-5.6)

P.L.1970, c. 234, s. 9 (C. 18A:58-6.3)

N.J.S. 18A:58-8

N.J.S. 18A:58-10

N.J.S. 18A:58-13

P.L.1970, c. 234, s. 15 (C. 18A:58-18.1)

N.J.S. 18A:58-20 to 18A:58-24, inclusive

N.J.S. 18A:58-27

P.L.1968, c. 289, s. 1 (C. 18A:58-27.1)

N.J.S. 18A:58-29

N.J.S. 18A:58-30 to 18A:58-31, inclusive

N.J.S. 18A:58-33 to 18A:58-33.1, inclusive.

L.1975, c. 212, s. 54, eff. July 1, 1975.

18A:7A-34 Creation of school district under full State intervention.

1. Whenever the Commissioner of Education shall determine after the issuance of an administrative order that a local school district has failed to assure a thorough and efficient system of education, the State Board of Education may issue an administrative order as set forth in section 15 of P.L.1975, c.212 (C.18A:7A-15) which shall create a school district under full State intervention. The school district under full State intervention shall become effective immediately upon issuance of the administrative order by the State board.

L.1987,c.399,s.1; amended 2005, c.235, s.9.

18A:7A-35 State district superintendent.

2. a. The schools of a school district under full State intervention may be conducted by and under the supervision of a State district superintendent of schools appointed by the State board upon recommendation of the commissioner. The individual selected shall be qualified by training and experience for the particular district and shall work collaboratively with any highly skilled professionals appointed by the commissioner, in consultation with the local board of education.

The State board may, upon the recommendation of the commissioner, choose to retain the person who holds the position of superintendent of schools in the school district at the time the State board issues the administrative order pursuant to section 15 of P.L.1975, c.212 (C.18A:7A-15). If the State board chooses to retain the superintendent of schools, the person shall have the powers and duties of a State district superintendent of schools and shall comply with the directives of the commissioner or his designee, including any highly skilled professional appointed by the commissioner.

b. If the State board appoints a State district superintendent the appointment shall be for an initial term not to exceed three years. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person so appointed shall acquire tenure nor shall the commissioner, with approval of the State board, be precluded from terminating the superintendent's services pursuant to the terms of the superintendent's individual contract of employment. For the purpose of the New Jersey Tort Claims Act, N.J.S.59:1-1 et seq., the State district superintendent shall be considered a State officer.

c. The salary of the State district superintendent shall be fixed by the commissioner and adjusted from time to time as the commissioner deems appropriate. The cost for said salary and for the salaries of all persons appointed pursuant to this amendatory and supplementary act, except the highly skilled professionals, shall be an expense of the local school district.

d. The State district superintendent shall perform such duties and possess such powers as deemed appropriate by the commissioner.

e. Except as otherwise provided in this amendatory and supplementary act, the State district superintendent shall have the power to perform all acts and do all things that the commissioner deems necessary for the proper conduct, maintenance and supervision of the schools in the district.

f. The State district superintendent may, if deemed appropriate by the commissioner, make, amend and repeal district rules, policies and guidelines, not inconsistent with law for the proper conduct, maintenance and supervision of the schools in the district.

g. The State district superintendent shall provide in each school a mechanism for parent, teacher and community involvement. In addition, the State district superintendent shall provide for at least one public meeting in both the fall and the spring semesters to advise parents and members of the community on the activities within the district and to provide an opportunity for those parents, teachers and community members who wish to be heard. The meetings shall be at such times and places as to ensure maximum public participation.

h. The State district superintendent shall ensure that the district is in compliance with all federal and State laws, rules and regulations relating to equal employment opportunities, affirmative action and minority business opportunities.

L.1987,c.399,s.2; amended 1995, c.179, s.1; 2005, c.235, s.10; 2007, c.16, s.7.

18A:7A-36. Certificate required

No person shall be appointed to any position pursuant to this amendatory and supplementary act unless the person shall hold an appropriate certificate as prescribed by the State Board of Examiners.

L. 1987, c. 399, s. 3.

18A:7A-37 Corporate entity.

4. A school district placed under full or partial State intervention shall remain a corporate entity.

L.1987,c.399,s.4; amended 2005, c.235, s.11.

18A:7A-38 Permissive powers of State district superintendent.

5. Except as otherwise provided in this amendatory and supplementary act, the State district superintendent in a school district under full State intervention may be given the power to:

a. Enforce the rules of the State board; and

b. Perform all acts and do all things, consistent with law and the rules of the State board, necessary for the lawful and proper conduct, equipment and maintenance of the public schools of the district.

L.1987,c.399,s.5; amended 2005, c.235, s.12; 2007, c.16, s.8.

18A:7A-39 Authority of State district superintendent.

6. a. The State district superintendent may in a school district under full State intervention:

(1) Sue in the district's corporate name and likewise submit to arbitration and determination disputes and controversies in the manner provided by law;

(2) Cause a report of the condition of the public schools and the public school property and an itemized account of the condition of the finances of the district to be printed and published as soon as practicable after the close of each school year; and

(3) Cause an exact census to be taken annually of all children residing in the district between the ages of five and 18 years, including such other information as he or she may deem necessary or proper and appoint, for the purpose of taking that census, as many suitable persons as may be necessary to act as enumerators and fix their compensation, which compensation shall be paid as a current expense.

b. A school district under full State intervention may be sued under its corporate name.

c. School districts under full State intervention may join with local boards of education for the purpose of affording the districts those benefits which may accrue pursuant to P.L.1983, c.108 (C.18A:18B-1 et seq.).

d. A school district under full State intervention shall be subject to all provisions of chapter 19 of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes except that all warrants for claims or expenditures approvable by a district board of education or any action required of a district board of education pursuant to chapter 19 may be authorized by the State district superintendent.

e. Authority for the implementation of any provision of chapter 20 of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes relative to the acquisition and disposition of property which requires action by a district board of education may, in a school district under full State intervention, be exercised by the State district superintendent.

f. The authority and powers vested in boards of education by chapter 21 of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes may in a school district under full State intervention be vested in the State district superintendent.

g. School districts under full State intervention shall be subject to all requirements set forth in chapter 18A of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes except that such determination as may be required of a district board of education by the provisions of said law may be rendered by the State district superintendent.

L.1987,c.399,s.6; amended 2005, c.235, s.13; 2007, c.16, s.9.

18A:7A-40 Collective bargaining agreements.

7. a. When a district under full State intervention is established, pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1987, c.399 (C.18A:7A-34), or when the State withdraws from intervention, pursuant to section 16 of P.L.1987, c.399 (C.18A:7A-49), collective bargaining agreements entered into by the school district shall remain in force, except where otherwise expressly provided in P.L.1987, c.399 (C.18A:7A-34 et seq.).

b. Except where otherwise expressly provided in P.L.1987, c.399 (C.18A:7A-34 et seq.), all teaching staff members and other employees of a district under full State intervention shall retain and continue to acquire all rights and privileges acquired pursuant to Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes. After the State withdraws from intervention, the board shall preserve and recognize all rights and privileges acquired prior to and during the State intervention in the district.

L.1987,c.399,s.7; amended 2005, c.235, s.14.

18A:7A-41 Internal audit team.

8. There may be established within a school district under full State intervention an internal audit team which shall monitor the business functions of the district and report its findings to the commissioner and any district personnel deemed appropriate by the commissioner. The cost of providing this internal audit function shall be borne by the State.

L.1987,c.399,s.8; amended 2005, c.235, s.15.

18A:7A-42 Officers, employees, consultants.

9. a. In a school district under full State intervention, all officers, employees and consultants, professional and nonprofessional, certified and noncertified, shall be employed or retained, transferred and removed in accordance with the improvement plan which has been approved by the commissioner. In accordance with that plan:

(1) The State district superintendent may appoint, transfer and remove clerks, pursuant to the provisions of Title 11A (Civil Service) of the New Jersey Statutes and the provisions of N.J.S.18A:17-1 et seq.

(2) The State district superintendent, subject to the approval of the commissioner, shall appoint and set the salaries of such State assistant superintendents as the superintendent shall deem necessary and assign to them their duties and responsibilities. No State assistant superintendent shall acquire tenure, notwithstanding any other provision of law.

(3) The State district superintendent of schools shall, subject to the approval of the commissioner or his designee, make all personnel determinations relative to employment, transfer and removal of all officers and employees, professional and nonprofessional, except that the services of the district auditor or auditors and attorney or attorneys shall be immediately terminated by creation of a school district under full State intervention.

b. The State district superintendent may delegate to subordinate officers or employees in the district any of his powers and duties as he may deem desirable to be exercised under his supervision and direction.

L.1987,c.399,s.9; amended 2005, c.235, s.16; 2007, c.16, s.10.

18A:7A-43 Tenure rights.

10. Except as otherwise provided in this amendatory and supplementary act, any person serving under tenure or permanent civil service status shall retain all tenure rights and may continue to serve in the district pursuant to the provisions of this section. However, they shall perform only such duties as prescribed in the improvement plan which has been approved by the commissioner and those duties for which they may be appropriately certified.

L.1987,c.399,s.10; amended 2005, c.235, s.17.

18A:7A-44 Abolition of administrative positions; reorganization.

11. a. Notwithstanding any other provision of law or contract, the positions of the district's chief school administrator and those executive administrators responsible for curriculum, business and finance, and personnel may be abolished upon creation of the school district under full State intervention. The affected individuals shall be given 60 days' notice of termination or 60 days' pay. The notice or payment shall be in lieu of any other claim or recourse against the employing board or the school district based on law or contract. Any individual whose position is abolished by operation of this subsection shall be entitled to assert a claim to any position or to placement upon a preferred eligibility list for any position to which the individual may be entitled by virtue of tenure or seniority within the district. No individual whose position is abolished by operation of this subsection shall retain any right to tenure or seniority in the positions abolished herein.

b. Within 180 days of the establishment of the school district under full State intervention, the State district superintendent may prepare a reorganization of the district's central administrative and supervisory staff and may evaluate all individuals employed in central administrative and supervisory staff positions. The State district superintendent may implement the reorganization on the July 1 next following its preparation, unless otherwise directed by the commissioner. The State district superintendent shall retain the authority to prepare a reorganization and to evaluate all employed individuals after the expiration of the 180-day period.

c. Notwithstanding any other provision of law or contract, the positions of the central administrative and supervisory staff, instructional and noninstructional, other than those positions abolished pursuant to subsection a. of this section, may be abolished upon the reorganization of the staff of the school district under full State intervention. The State district superintendent may hire an individual whose position is so abolished, based upon the evaluation of the individual and the staffing needs of the reorganized district staff. These individuals shall be hired with tenure if they had tenure in their prior position. If they did not have tenure in their prior position, they may obtain tenure pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.18A:28-6. Individuals hired as State assistant superintendents shall not be hired with tenure and shall not acquire tenure. Employees or officers not hired for the reorganized staff shall be given 60 days' notice of termination or 60 days' pay. The notice or payment shall be in lieu of any other claim or recourse against the employing board or the school district based on law or contract. Notwithstanding this limitation, nothing herein shall preclude an individual from asserting upon separation from service any legal contractual right to health care coverage, annuities, accrued vacation days, accrued sick leave, insurance and approved tuition costs. Any employee whose position is abolished by operation of this subsection shall be entitled to assert a claim to any position or to placement upon a preferred eligibility list for any position to which the employee may be entitled by virtue of tenure or seniority within the district. No employee whose position is abolished by operation of this subsection shall retain any right to tenure or seniority in the positions abolished herein.

L.1987,c.399,s.11; amended 1995, c.179, s.2; 2005, c.235, s.18; 2007, c.16, s.11.

18A:7A-45 Evaluation of principals, vice-principals.

12. a. The Commissioner of Education shall adopt criteria for the evaluation of building principals and vice-principals in a school district under full State intervention.

b. Upon appointment, the State district superintendent may establish an assessment unit to conduct on-site evaluations of each building principal and vice-principal in accordance with the criteria established by the commissioner and render evaluation reports to the State district superintendent. No less than three evaluations shall be performed for each building principal and vice-principal within 18 months following the establishment of the school district under full State intervention. All personnel records for building principals and vice-principals prepared before the establishment of the district under full State intervention shall be sealed upon issuance of the State Board of Education order establishing the school district under full State intervention.

c. Notwithstanding any other provision of law or contract, the State district superintendent, after completion of an assessment cycle of not less than 12 months, may dismiss any tenured building principal or vice-principal for inefficiency, incapacity, unbecoming conduct or other just cause as defined by the criteria for principal or vice-principal performance in districts under full State intervention established by the commissioner pursuant to subsection a. of this section. Nothing herein shall preclude the dismissal of a tenured building principal or vice-principal prior to the completion of an assessment cycle of not less than 12 months if the basis for the dismissal is incapacity or unbecoming conduct. All dismissals of tenured building principals or vice-principals shall be conducted in accordance with the procedures set forth in sections 10, 11, 13, 14, 16 and 17 of chapter 6 of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes, except that the State district superintendent shall act as the board of education in all respects.

d. The commissioner and the Office of Administrative Law are empowered and directed to take any necessary action to expedite hearings for dismissal of tenured principals or vice-principals, including relaxation of any time requirements established by law or practice. In no event shall a hearing commence later than 45 days after certification of charges. Hearings shall be completed within 45 days of commencement. In no event shall a final decision be issued later than 120 days following the certification of charges.

e. Evaluations of building principals or vice-principals conducted by district personnel prior to the establishment of the school district under full State intervention shall not be admissible in a tenure hearing for any building principal or vice-principal except in the following circumstances:

(1) Evaluations of building principals or vice-principals performed by members of the central administrative and supervisory staff who are hired to fill one of the positions in the reorganized central office of the district under full State intervention shall be admissible;

(2) Evaluations of building principals or vice-principals made by individuals who were no longer employed by the school district as of the date it became a school district under full State intervention shall be admissible only if the evaluation was performed more than five years preceding the date of the establishment of the district under full State intervention.

L.1987,c.399,s.12; amended 1995, c.179, s.3; 2005, c.235, s.19; 2007, c.16, s.12.

18A:7A-46 Procedure for creation, conduct.

13. a. School districts under full State intervention shall be created only as provided pursuant to section 15 of P.L.1975, c.212 (C.18A:7A-15).

b. School districts under full State intervention may be conducted by and under the supervision of a State district superintendent appointed by the State Board of Education upon recommendation of the commissioner.

L.1987,c.399,s.13; amended 2005, c.235, s.20.

18A:7A-46.1 Capital Project Control Board.

1. a. In any school district under full State intervention created pursuant to the provisions of P.L.1975, c.212 (C.18A:7A-1 et seq.) there may be established a Capital Project Control Board, hereinafter the board, to be responsible for the review of any capital project proposed by the State district superintendent, provided that the State district superintendent proposes that the capital project be financed in whole or in part by school bonds or notes, or through a lease purchase agreement pursuant to subsection f. of N.J.S.18A:20-4.2. The board shall also be responsible for the certification to the State district superintendent of schools and the commissioner of the necessity for the capital project and the certification of the appropriation to be made by the governing body of the municipality.

b. The board shall consist of five voting members. One member shall be appointed by the Commissioner of Education and two members shall be appointed by the chief executive officer with the consent of a majority of the full membership of the local governing body of the municipality or municipalities in which the school district is located. If the school district is comprised of two municipalities, each municipality shall be entitled to one member, appointed by the executive officer with the consent of the governing body. If the school district is comprised of more than two municipalities, each of the two municipalities with the largest population according to the most recent federal decennial census shall be entitled to one member, appointed by the executive officer with the consent of the governing body. However, if a local governing body fails to agree upon the selection of either board member appointed by an executive officer, then the Commissioner of Education shall make the appointment. One member shall be appointed by the Director of the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs who shall have experience in the area of local finance and capital projects. The fifth member shall be the State district superintendent of schools who shall serve ex-officio and shall act as chairperson of the board. The board members, except for the State district superintendent, shall each serve for a term of one year commencing on July 1 of each year and expiring on June 30 of the following year. Any vacancy in the membership of the board shall be filled for the unexpired term in the manner provided by the original appointment. Members of the board may be employees of the State or any subdivision thereof. All members of the board shall serve without compensation.

c. The board shall meet from time to time upon the request of the State district superintendent. All meetings of the board shall be conducted pursuant to the provisions of the "Open Public Meetings Act," P.L.1975, c.231 (C.10:4-6 et seq.). The State district superintendent shall be charged with the responsibility of preparing a transcript of the proceedings and all votes shall be recorded in writing.

L.1991,c.139,s.1; amended 2000, c.72, s.32; 2005, c.235, s.21; 2007, c.16, s.13.

18A:7A-46.2 Board to hear recommendations concerning proposed capital projects.

2. In the event that a capital project control board is established pursuant to section 1 of P.L.1991, c.139 (C.18A:7A-46.1) the board shall hear the recommendation of the State district superintendent concerning any proposed capital project, which is to be financed in whole or in part by school bonds or notes, or through a lease purchase agreement pursuant to subsection f. of N.J.S.18A:20-4.2, and shall undertake all actions necessary to review the proposed capital project to determine whether the project will assist the school district under full State intervention in providing a thorough and efficient system of education in that district. In making this determination it may take into consideration factors such as the conditions in the school district, any applicable educational goals, the objectives and standards established by the State, the need for the capital project, the reasonableness of the amount to be expended for the capital project, the estimated time for the undertaking and completion of the capital project, and any other factors which the board may deem necessary including the relationship of the capital project to the long-term capital budget or plan of the school district and the fiscal implications thereof.

Following its review and within 60 days of the date on which the State district superintendent submits the recommendation to the board, the board shall adopt a resolution as to whether the school district under full State intervention should undertake the capital project and providing its reasons therefor. The board shall adopt a resolution indicating the necessity for the capital project and shall also fix and determine by resolution the amount necessary to be raised locally for the capital project. If the board fails to act within 60 days of the submission date, the State district superintendent shall submit the recommendation to the commissioner who shall approve or disapprove the capital project. If the board makes a decision which is contrary to the recommendation of the superintendent, the superintendent may, within 30 days from the date of the board's action, submit the matter to the commissioner for final decision. If the commissioner determines that a capital project should be undertaken, the commissioner shall so notify the board and shall indicate the amount necessary to be raised locally for the capital project. Upon notification, the board shall adopt a resolution indicating the necessity for the capital project and shall also fix and determine by resolution the amount necessary for the capital project as indicated by the commissioner. Certified copies of any resolution requesting the authorization and issuance of bonds and notes or the authorization of a lease purchase agreement shall be delivered to the State district superintendent, the Commissioner of Education, the Director of the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs and the governing body of the municipality or municipalities in which the school district is located. The board shall not approve or recommend any capital project which is inconsistent with the provisions of N.J.S.18A:21-1.

L.1991,c.139,s.2; amended 2000, c.72, s.33; 2005, c.235, s.22; 2007, c.16, s.14.

18A:7A-46.3 Capital projects financed by issuance of bonds, notes.

3. Notwithstanding the provisions of any law to the contrary, the cost of any capital project authorized pursuant to this act which is to be funded by bonds or notes and certified by the board to the State district superintendent, the Commissioner of Education, the Director of the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs and the governing body of the municipality or municipalities in which the school district is located shall be financed by the issuance of school bonds or notes pursuant to the provisions of chapter 24 of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes and the "Local Bond Law" (N.J.S.40A:2-1 et seq.) and the notes, school bonds or other obligations shall be authorized, issued, sold and delivered in the manner prescribed by the "Local Bond Law" (N.J.S.40A:2-1 et seq.).

L.1991,c.139,s.3; amended 2000, c.72, s.34; 2005, c.235, s.23; 2007, c.16, s.15.

18A:7A-46.4 Issuance of authorization of notes, bonds.

4. Any authorization of notes or bonds effective prior to the date of the appointment of the State district superintendent shall be issued in the manner prescribed by the "Local Bond Law" (N.J.S.40A:2-1 et seq.).

L.1991,c.139,s.4; amended 2005, c.235, s.24; 2007, c.16, s.16.

18A:7A-46.5. Cessation of existence of board

The board shall immediately cease to exist upon reestablishment of local control in the school district, pursuant to section 16 of P.L.1987, c.399 (C.18A:7A-49).

L.1991,c.139,s.5.

18A:7A-46.6 Debt service part of municipal budget.

6. The debt service on bonds, notes and other obligations authorized pursuant to P.L.1991, c.139 (C.18A:7A-46.1 et seq.) shall be appropriated and made part of the municipal budget and raised through the annual municipal tax levy. However, all debt service payments shall be included in the budget of the school district under full State intervention as the sum necessary for interest and debt redemption charges and shall be eligible for State education aid in the year in which the appropriation and expenditure are made.

L.1991,c.139,s.6; amended 2005, c.235, s.25.

18A:7A-47 Board of Education.

14. a. The State board shall retain the board of education in place at the time that the State board issues the administrative order creating the school district under full State intervention. With the State board's approval the commissioner may appoint up to three additional nonvoting members to the board of education. The board of education's membership shall remain increased by these additional seats until the State withdraws from intervention in the governance component of school district effectiveness. If the commissioner appoints three additional members pursuant to this subsection, the commissioner shall appoint one of these additional members from a list of three candidates provided by the local governing body of the municipality in which the school district is located. The commissioner shall make every effort to appoint residents of the district. The board of education shall have only those rights, powers and privileges of an advisory board. The members appointed by the commissioner shall serve for a term of two years. The commissioner shall obtain approval of the State board for any extension of the two-year term. Any vacancy in the membership appointed by the commissioner shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.

Six months following the district being placed under full State intervention, the commissioner shall determine whether or not the board members he has appointed shall become voting members of the advisory board of education. If the commissioner determines that the board members he has appointed shall become voting members, the school district shall have 30 days to appeal the commissioner's determination to the State Board of Education.

b. The State district superintendent may meet with the board as frequently as necessary for the effective operation of the school district. The meetings of the board shall be convened and scheduled at the direction of the State district superintendent, and the State district superintendent shall determine the agenda. At the meetings, the State district superintendent shall report to the board on all actions taken and on pending actions in a timely fashion, and provide an opportunity for a full discussion by the board and by the public of those actions. Meetings shall be conducted pursuant to the provisions of the "Open Public Meetings Act," P.L.1975, c.231 (C.10:4-6 et seq.). On a regular basis, but no less than twice each year, the board of education shall report in writing directly to the State district superintendent concerning its assessment of the progress of the district. Copies of the report shall be forwarded to the commissioner and the State board. The State district superintendent shall make such clerical and other resources available as are necessary for the effective operation of the board of education.

c. The commissioner, in consultation with the New Jersey School Boards Association, shall provide the members of the board of education with appropriate in-service training in school matters.

L.1987,c.399,s.14; amended 1995, c.179, s.4; 2005, c.235, s.26; 2007, c.16, s.17.

18A:7A-49 Reports of progress under full State intervention; transition to local control.

16. a. A school district under full State intervention shall make an annual report of its progress in complying with the quality performance indicators adopted pursuant to section 10 of P.L.1975, c.212 (C.18A:7A-10). The commissioner shall formally report to the State board and to the Governor and the Legislature on the district's progress.

b. Based upon the annual report of progress, but not sooner than three years after the establishment of the school district under full State intervention, the commissioner may recommend that the State board place the school district under partial State intervention or elsewhere on the performance continuum. If the State board so determines, the school district shall be placed under partial State intervention or designated as transitioning to local control or placed elsewhere on the performance continuum effective on the July 1 next ensuing.

c. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, if a district under full State intervention is placed under partial State intervention, the board of education shall continue to have the rights, powers, and duties of an advisory board, until the district successfully meets the quality performance indicators for the governance component of school district effectiveness.

Despite the continuation of the board of education as an advisory board, the State board, upon the recommendation of the commissioner, may return some voting functions to the board of education as part of and in furtherance of the process of a transition to local control. If some voting functions are returned to the board of education, the commissioner or his designee shall have the authority to veto any action by the board of education until the governance component of school district effectiveness is returned to local control. A true copy of the minutes of every meeting of the board of education shall be forthwith delivered by and under the certification of the secretary thereof to the commissioner or his designee. No action taken at that meeting of the board of education shall have force or effect until 15 days after a copy of the minutes shall have been so delivered unless during that 15-day period the commissioner or his designee shall approve those minutes, in which case the action shall become effective upon that approval. If, in the 15-day period, the commissioner or his designee returns the copy of those minutes with a veto of any action taken by the board of education or any member thereof at that meeting, the action shall be null and void and of no effect.

d. In the event that the State board, upon the recommendation of the commissioner, has appointed a State district superintendent in a district under full State intervention, the State district superintendent shall continue to hold that position until the district successfully meets the quality performance indicators for the governance component of school district effectiveness. If the district is placed under partial State intervention and has successfully met the quality performance indicators for the governance component of school district effectiveness, or if the State has completely withdrawn from intervention and returned the district to local control, then the board of education shall be permitted to extend the contract of the superintendent who holds the position at the time that the district is placed under partial State intervention or is returned to local control, provide 18-months' notice to the superintendent to modify the contract, or allow the contract in effect to expire with the appropriate statutory notice pursuant to subsection b. of section 4 of P.L.1991, c.267 (C.18A:17-20.1).

e. If the district successfully meets the quality performance indicators for the governance component of school district effectiveness, not more than one year following the placement of the district under partial State intervention or return to local control, the board shall call a special election for purposes of placing the question of classification status before the voters of the district, which election shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of Title 19 of the Revised Statutes concerning school elections.

f. If the voters of the district shall elect to become a type I district, it shall be governed by the provisions of chapter 9 of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes relating to type I districts after January 31 next ensuing, unless the district is established in a city of the first class, in which case it shall be governed after June 30 next ensuing. The members of the district board of education at the time of said election shall continue in office until expiration of their respective terms and the qualification in office of their successors.

g. If the voters of the district shall so select that the district shall become a type II district, it shall be governed by the provisions of chapter 9 of Title 18A relating to type II districts and the members of the board of education at the time of said election shall remain and continue in office until the expiration of their respective terms and the qualification of their respective successors.

h. If the commissioner cannot recommend that the school district under full State intervention be placed under partial State intervention within three years, then the commissioner shall provide a comprehensive report to the State board and to the Governor and the Legislature, including a detailed analysis of the causes for the failure of the district to comply with the quality performance indicators and an assessment of the amount of time necessary for the continuation of the school district under full State intervention. On the basis of that report the State board shall determine whether to continue the school district under full State intervention or return the district to partial State intervention.

L.1987,c.399,s.16; amended 1995, c.179, s.6; 1995, c.278, s.25; 2005, c.235, s.27; 2007, c.16, s.18.

18A:7A-50 Budget development, presentation.

17. The State district superintendent in a school district under full State intervention shall develop a budget on or before March 22 and shall present this budget to the board of education to elicit the board's comments and recommendations. This budget shall conform in all respects with the requirements of chapter 22 of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes and shall be subject to the limitations on spending by local school districts otherwise required by P.L.1996, c.138 (C.18A:7F-1 et al.).

L.1987,c.399,s.17; amended 1990, c.52, s.32; 1992, c.159, s.6; 1995, c.278, s.38; 1996, c.138, s.39; 2005, c.235, s.28; 2007, c.16, s.19.

18A:7A-51 Public hearing.

18. Upon the preparation of its budget, the State district superintendent shall fix a date, place and time for the holding of a public hearing upon the budget and the amounts of money necessary to be appropriated for the use of the public schools for the ensuing school year, and the various items and purposes for which the same are to be appropriated, which hearing shall be held between March 22 and March 29. Notice of the hearing, contents of the notice and the format and purpose of the hearing shall be as provided in N.J.S.18A:22-11, N.J.S.18A:22-12 and N.J.S.18A:22-13.

L.1987,c.399,s.18; amended 1992, c.159, s.7; 1995, c.278, s.40; 2005, c.235, s.29; 2007, c.16, s.20.

18A:7A-52 Determination of amount of appropriation for following school year.

19. a. After the public hearing provided for by section 18 of P.L.1987, c.399 (C.18A:7A-51) but not later than April 8, the State district superintendent shall fix and determine the amount of money necessary to be appropriated for the ensuing school year and shall certify the amounts to be raised by special district tax for school purposes as well as the sum necessary for interest and debt redemption, if any, to the county board of taxation and the amount or amounts so certified shall be included in the taxes assessed, levied and collected in the municipality or municipalities comprising the district. The State district superintendent shall follow the procedures established pursuant to section 5 of P.L.1996, c.138 (C.18A:7F-5).

b. (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1996, c.138).

c. (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1996, c.138).

L.1987, c.399, s.19; amended 1990, c.52, s.33; 1992, c.159, s.8; 1996, c.138, s.40; 2005, c.235, s.30; 2007, c.16, s.21.

18A:7A-53 Evaluation of Level I district, Level II or III districts, methodology; transition to local control.

37. a. A district which has been certified as a Level I district by the State Board of Education as of the effective date of this act, shall be phased into the three-year evaluation process and, in accordance with a schedule established by the commissioner, be evaluated by the commissioner in the five key components of school district effectiveness as set forth in section 10 of P.L.1975, c.212 (C.18A:7A-10). Based on a district's compliance with the quality performance indicators, the commissioner shall assess district effectiveness and place the district on the performance continuum. During the phase-in, a district which has not undergone an evaluation in the five key components of school district effectiveness shall continue to complete and submit a quality assurance annual report in accordance with State board regulations in effect prior to the effective date of P.L.2007, c.16.

b. A State-operated district or a district which has been certified as a Level II or a Level III district by the State Board of Education as of the effective date of this act, shall be evaluated by a team of highly skilled professionals in the five key components of school district effectiveness as set forth in section 10 of P.L.1975, c.212 (C.18A:7A-10). The evaluation shall be completed within 120 days of the date on which rules promulgated by the commissioner pursuant to section 39 of this act (C.18A:7A-53.1) become effective. The commissioner shall establish a process for the receipt of comments from the public during the evaluation. The commissioner shall provide a report of the evaluation to the district within 30 days of the completion of the evaluation. The report shall contain the commissioner's determination of the district's placement on the performance continuum. The district shall have 30 days from the date of receipt of the report to appeal the placement decision to the State board. The commissioner shall make a recommendation to the State Board of Education if the recommendation is to place the district under partial or full State intervention. The commissioner and State board shall take whatever action is appropriate based on the district's placement on the performance continuum.

c. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, if a State-operated district is placed under partial State intervention, the board of education shall continue to have the rights, powers, and duties of an advisory board, until the district successfully meets the quality performance indicators for the governance component of school district effectiveness.

Despite the continuation of the board of education as an advisory board, the State board, upon the recommendation of the commissioner, may return some voting functions to the board of education as part of and in furtherance of the process of a transition to local control. If some voting functions are returned to the board of education, the commissioner or his designee shall have the authority to veto any action by the board of education until the governance component of school district effectiveness is returned to local control. A true copy of the minutes of every meeting of the board of education shall be forthwith delivered by and under the certification of the secretary thereof to the commissioner or his designee. No action taken at that meeting of the board of education shall have force or effect until 15 days after a copy of the minutes shall have been so delivered unless during that 15-day period the commissioner or his designee shall approve those minutes, in which case the action shall become effective upon that approval. If, in the 15-day period, the commissioner or his designee returns the copy of those minutes with a veto of any action taken by the board of education or any member thereof at that meeting, the action shall be null and void and of no effect.

d. If a State-operated school district evaluated pursuant to subsection b. of this section successfully meets the quality performance indicators for the governance component of school district effectiveness, then one year following the State's withdrawal from intervention in that component, the board of education shall call a special election for purposes of placing the question of classification status before the voters of the district, which election shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of Title 19 of the Revised Statutes concerning school elections.

If the voters of the district elect to become a type I district, it shall be governed by the provisions of chapter 9 of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes relating to type I districts after January 31 next ensuing, unless the district is established in a city of the first class, in which case it shall be governed after June 30 next ensuing. The members of the district board of education at the time of said election shall continue in office until expiration of their respective terms and the qualification in office of their successors.

If the voters of the district elect to become a type II district, it shall be governed by the provisions of chapter 9 of Title 18A relating to type II districts and the members of the board of education at the time of said election shall remain and continue in office until the expiration of their respective terms and the qualification of their respective successors.

e. The board of education of a State-operated school district that successfully meets the quality performance indicators for the governance component of school district effectiveness shall be permitted to extend the contract of the superintendent who holds the position at the time of the evaluation conducted pursuant to subsection b. of this section, provide 18-months' notice to the superintendent to modify the contract, or allow the contract in effect to expire with the appropriate statutory notice pursuant to subsection b. of section 4 of P.L.1991, c.267 (C.18A:17-20.1).

L.2005, c.235, s.37; amended 2007, c.16, s.22.

18A:7A-53.1 Rules, regulations; procedure for 36 months following enactment.

39. a. The State Board of Education shall adopt rules and regulations pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), to effectuate the provisions of this act; except that notwithstanding any provision of P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.) to the contrary, the commissioner may for a period of 12 months following the effective date of P.L.2007, c.16, adopt, immediately upon filing with the Office of Administrative Law, such rules and regulations as the commissioner deems necessary to implement the New Jersey Quality Single Accountability Continuum. The commissioner shall engage in a collaborative process with interested stakeholders in the education community prior to the adoption of rules and regulations for the 12-month period. All such rules and regulations adopted by the commissioner shall expire no later than 12 months following the effective date of P.L.2007, c.16 and shall thereafter be amended, adopted or re-adopted during the following 24-month period by the commissioner in accordance with the provisions of P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.).

b. All such rules and regulations adopted by the commissioner pursuant to subsection a. of this section shall expire no later than 36 months following the effective date of P.L.2007, c.16 and shall thereafter be amended, adopted or re-adopted by the State board in accordance with the provisions of P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.).

L.2005, c.235, s.39; amended 2007, c.16, s.23.

18A:7A-54 Short title.

1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "School District Fiscal Accountability Act."

L.2006,c.15,s.1.

18A:7A-55 Appointment of State monitor in certain school districts; duties.

2. a. In addition to the powers provided pursuant to P.L.2005, c.235, P.L.1996, c.138 (C.18A:7F-1 et al.), and P.L.2007, c.260 (C.18A:7F-43 et al.) or any other law, the Commissioner of Education shall have the authority to appoint a State monitor and additional staff, as necessary, to provide direct oversight of a board of education's business operations and personnel matters if: the school district receives an adverse or a disclaimer of opinion by its independent auditor in the annual audit required pursuant to N.J.S.18A:23-1; or any two or more of the following circumstances apply to the school district:

(1) the school district ends the fiscal year with a deficit balance as calculated for budgetary purposes in the general fund, special revenue fund, or capital projects fund, with the exception of a capital projects fund deficit caused by the issuance of bond anticipation notes;

(2) the school district receives a qualified opinion by its independent auditor in the annual audit required pursuant to N.J.S.18A:23-1;

(3) the school district receives an adverse, disclaimer, or qualified opinion by its independent auditor under the single audit section for State or federal awards in the annual audit required pursuant to N.J.S.18A:23-1;

(4) the school district receives any audit findings by its independent auditor identified as material weaknesses in internal controls;

(5) the school district fails to develop and implement a plan acceptable to the commissioner or his designee to address a potential or actual deficit balance in the general fund, special revenue fund, or capital projects fund, with the exception of a capital projects fund deficit caused by the issuance of bond anticipation notes;

(6) the school district fails to implement a plan from the prior year which causes any findings from the independent auditor to be repeated;

(7) the school district is required to return federal funds once it is determined that the school district's expenditures are not in compliance with the grant requirements; or

(8) the school district submits the annual audit after the submission date required pursuant to N.J.S.18A:23-1.

b. The State monitor shall:

(1) oversee the fiscal management and expenditures of school district funds, including, but not limited to, budget reallocations and reductions, approvals of purchase orders, budget transfers, and payment of bills and claims;

(2) oversee the operation and fiscal management of school district facilities, including the development and implementation of recommendations for redistricting and restructuring of schools;

(3) ensure development and implementation of an acceptable plan to address the circumstances set forth in subsection a. of this section which resulted in the appointment of the State monitor. The plan shall include measurable benchmarks and specific activities to address the deficiencies of the school district;

(4) oversee all district staffing, including the ability to hire, promote, and terminate employees;

(5) have authority to override a chief school administrator's action and a vote by the board of education on any of the matters set forth in this subsection, except that all actions of the State monitor shall be subject to the education, labor, and employment laws and regulations, including the "New Jersey Employer-Employee Relations Act," P.L.1941, c.100 (C.34:13A-1 et seq.), and collective bargaining agreements entered into by the school district;

(6) attend all meetings of the board of education, including closed sessions; and

(7) meet with the board of education on at least a quarterly basis to discuss with the members of the board the past actions of the board which led to the appointment of the State monitor and to provide board members with education and training that address the deficiencies identified in board actions.

c. The Commissioner of Education shall notify the State Board of Education following the appointment of a State monitor pursuant to subsection a. of this section. The State monitor shall report directly to the commissioner or his designee on a weekly basis. The State monitor shall also report monthly to the board of education and members of the public at the regularly scheduled board of education meeting.

d. For purposes of the "New Jersey Tort Claims Act," N.J.S.59:1-1 et seq., the State monitor shall be considered a State officer, but for all other purposes the State monitor shall be considered an employee of the district.

e. The State monitor shall provide oversight in the school district until the commissioner determines that all remedial actions required under the plan have been implemented and the necessary local capacity and fiscal controls have been restored to school district operations.

f. The salary of the State monitor shall be fixed by the commissioner and adjusted from time to time as the commissioner deems appropriate. The school district shall assume the total cost of the State monitor and necessary additional staff appointed pursuant to subsection a. of this section. The State monitor shall have the authority to appoint legal counsel if legal action is taken against him while acting in his official duties as a State monitor or as needed upon approval of the commissioner.

L.2006, c.15, s.2; amended 2007, c.53, s.16; 2007, c.260, s.24.

18A:7A-56 Recommendation of advance State aid payment to school district; repayment.

3. a. The Commissioner of Education shall recommend to the State Treasurer whether an advance State aid payment should be made to a school district for which a State monitor has been appointed. The commissioner's recommendation shall be based on whether the payment is necessary to ensure the provision of a thorough and efficient education. An advance State aid payment shall be recorded by the school district as revenue for budget purposes in the school year in which the advance State aid payment is provided.

b. The advance State aid payment shall be repaid by the school district through automatic reductions in the State aid provided to the school district in subsequent years. The term of the repayment shall not exceed 10 years, but may be for a shorter term as determined by the State Treasurer. At any time during the term of the repayment the State Treasurer, in consultation with the Commissioner of Education, may determine to impose interest on the unpaid balance ; except that interest shall not be imposed in the case of a school district for which a State monitor is appointed within 90 days of the effective date of this act. The commissioner shall transfer the amount of the reduction in State aid to the account established pursuant to section 5 of this act.

c. In any year in which the school district's undesignated general fund balance is greater than 1.5% of general fund expenditures, the amount which exceeds 1.5% shall be an additional amount applied to the following year's repayment of the advance State aid payment and the school district's State aid shall be reduced by this additional amount in that following year.

L.2006,c.15,s.3.

18A:7A-57 Forensic audit of certain school districts; presentation.

4. a. The Office of the State Auditor, or the Office of the State Comptroller, in cooperation with the State Auditor, shall conduct a forensic audit of the fiscal operations of any school district which has a year-end general fund deficit and also meets one of the other criteria in subsection a. of section 2 of this act. The audit shall be of the fiscal year in which the general fund deficit occurred and shall be in addition to the audit required of school districts pursuant to N.J.S.18A:23-1.

b. Notwithstanding the provisions of R.S.52:24-1 et seq., or any other law to the contrary, the Office of the State Auditor or the Office of the State Comptroller shall submit the audit to the commissioner, the Governor, and the Legislature. The Office of the State Auditor or the Office of the State Comptroller shall also present the audit to the district's board of education and the public at the board's next regularly scheduled monthly meeting.

c. The Office of the State Auditor or the Office of the State Comptroller shall forward any findings of fraudulent activities discovered as a result of the audit to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

d. Within 30 days of the presentation of the audit by the Office of the State Auditor or the Office of the State Comptroller to the board of education, the board shall submit to the commissioner a plan that addresses all of the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the Office of the State Auditor or the Office of the State Comptroller which have not been previously addressed by the school district.

L.2006, c.15, s.4; amended 2007, c.52, s.21.

18A:7A-58 "School District Deficit Relief Account."

5. There is established in the Department of Education a nonlapsing, revolving dedicated account designated the "School District Deficit Relief Account" which shall be credited with the monies as may be appropriated pursuant to section 7 of P.L.2006, c.15, monies transferred by the Commissioner of Education pursuant to subsection b. of section 3 of P.L.2006, c.15 (C.18A:7A-56), and such other monies as may be appropriated, transferred or otherwise made available for the purposes of providing an advance State aid payment to a school district pursuant to subsection a. of section 3 of P.L.2006, c.15. Any interest that shall accrue on the monies in the account shall be credited to the account.

L.2006,c.15,s.5.

18A:7A-59 Rules.

6. The State Board of Education may promulgate rules pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), to effectuate the purposes of this act.

L.2006,c.15,s.6.

18A:7A-60 Additional powers of Commissioner of Education relative to performance of compliance audit report.

14. a. In addition to the powers provided pursuant to P.L.2005, c.235, P.L.1996, c.138 (C.18A:7F-1 et al.), and P.L.2007, c.260 (C.18A:7F-43 et al.) or any other law, the Commissioner of Education may appoint an external entity, in accordance with State procurement laws, to perform a compliance audit of the spending of the district's general fund budget upon identification that the district may be spending State education funds for purposes that are not in compliance with State education law and regulation. The scope of the compliance audit shall be determined by the commissioner based upon the specific circumstances of the district.

b. The final report of a compliance audit conducted pursuant to subsection a. of this section shall include specific findings and recommendations, as applicable, and shall be submitted to the commissioner. The commissioner may use the audit report as evidence for the appointment of a State monitor pursuant to the provisions of subsection a. of section 2 of P.L.2006, c.15 (C.18A:7A-55).

c. The school district shall reimburse the Department of Education for the total cost of the compliance audit conducted pursuant to subsection a. of this section if the final audit report includes findings that the district has spent State education funds for purposes that are not in compliance with State education law and regulation.

L.2007, c.53, s.14; amended 2007, c.260, s.25.