2017 New Jersey Revised Statutes
TITLE 18A - EDUCATION
Section 18A:7A-15 - Hearing on State intervention, corrective action; full State intervention; withdrawal.
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.