2017 New Jersey Revised Statutes
TITLE 18A - EDUCATION
Section 18A:36A-14 - Authority of board of trustees; employees
18A:36A-14. Authority of board of trustees; employees
14. a. The board of trustees of a charter school shall have the authority to decide matters related to the operations of the school including budgeting, curriculum, and operating procedures, subject to the school's charter. The board shall provide for appropriate insurance against any loss or damage to its property or any liability resulting from the use of its property or from the acts or omissions of its officers and employees.
b. In the case of a currently existing public school which becomes a charter school pursuant to the provisions of subsection b. of section 4 of this act, all school employees of the charter school shall be deemed to be members of the bargaining unit defined in the applicable agreement and shall be represented by the same majority representative organization as the employees covered by that agreement. In the case of other charter schools, the board of trustees of a charter school shall have the authority to employ, discharge and contract with necessary teachers and nonlicensed employees subject to the school's charter. The board of trustees may choose whether or not to offer the terms of any collective bargaining agreement already established by the school district for its employees, but the board shall adopt any health and safety provisions of the agreement. The charter school and its employees shall be subject to the provisions of the "New Jersey Employer-Employee Relations Act," P.L.1941, c.100 (C.34:13A-1 et seq.). A charter school shall not set a teacher salary lower than the minimum teacher salary specified pursuant to section 7 of P.L.1985, c.321 (C.18A:29-5.6) nor higher than the highest step in the salary guide in the collective bargaining agreement which is in effect in the district in which the charter school is located.
c. All classroom teachers and professional support staff shall hold appropriate New Jersey certification. The commissioner shall make appropriate adjustments in the alternate route program in order to expedite the certification of persons who are qualified by education and experience.
d. A public school employee, tenured or non-tenured, may request a leave of absence of up to three years from the local board of education or State district superintendent in order to work in a charter school. Approval for a leave of absence shall not be unreasonably withheld. Employees on a leave of absence as provided herein shall remain in, and continue to make contributions to, their retirement plan during the time of the leave and shall be enrolled in the health benefits plan of the district in which the charter school is located. The charter school shall make any required employer's contribution to the district's health benefits plan.
e. Public school employees on a leave shall not accrue tenure in the public school system but shall retain tenure, if so applicable, and shall continue to accrue seniority, if so applicable, in the public school system if they return to their non-charter school when the leave ends. An employee of a charter school shall not accrue tenure pursuant to N.J.S.18A:17-2, N.J.S.18A:17-3, or N.J.S.18A:28-5, but shall acquire streamline tenure pursuant to guidelines promulgated by the commissioner, and the charter shall specify the security and protection to be afforded to the employee in accordance with the guidelines.
f. Any public school employee who leaves or is dismissed from employment at a charter school within three years shall have the right to return to the employee's former position in the public school district which granted the leave of absence, provided the employee is otherwise eligible for employment in the public school.