S 691

Requires State withdrawal from school districts under partial or full State intervention under certain circumstances

NJEA supports S-691 (Ruiz, Pou) which stipulates that if a school district satisfies 80% or more of the required NJ Quality Single Accountability Continuum standards in an area of district effectiveness under State intervention, the State must return that area to local control. The bill further stipulates that neither the Commissioner of Education nor the State Board of Education may use any other factor in making the determination to withdraw from an area of school district effectiveness if the district meets or exceeds the 80 percent threshold.  NJEA applauds the sponsors for their recognition that return to local control is long overdue.  NJEA has always advocated for education policies and procedures that take into account the voices of educators and the residents of the communities they serve.

Under QSAC, school districts are evaluated and scored in five areas:  effectiveness (specifically instruction and program), personnel, fiscal management, operations and governance.

  • The instruction and program portion of the evaluation has unfortunately become nothing more than an over-reliance on tests and assessments.  In some districts, instruction is set aside so that students can prepare for state assessments.
  • The fiscal management evaluation relies on such things as health and safety of the schools.  However, the facilities in these state-controlled districts are woefully inadequate.  NJEA has continued to work with Healthy Schools Now, a coalition of parents, educators, students, and public school advocates, to shed light on the shocking conditions in some of our schools—water-damaged hallways, exposed pipes, and decrepit classrooms are only the tip of iceberg in many older school buildings across the state..

The NJEA applauds the State’s recent efforts to return districts to local control in a deliberate, sensible manner and urge the legislature and state to continue the work necessary to support these communities as they endeavor to provide a thorough and efficient education to the students they serve.

NJEA urges you to vote “yes” on S-691.

Text of bill

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