2017 New Jersey Revised Statutes
TITLE 18A - EDUCATION
Section 18A:7A-53 - Evaluation of Level I district, Level II or III districts, methodology; transition to local control.

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.

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