Jan 24, 2022

New Laws Affecting Public School Districts

By Christopher J. Sedefian, Esq.

Governor Murphy recently signed several bills into law which are of relevance to public school districts:

  • Senate Bill No. 1790 – “Mallory’s Law” revises the provisions required in school district anti-bullying policies; provides for civil liability of parents of minors adjudicated delinquent for cyber-harassment or harassment; and increases certain fines against parents. P.L.2021, c.338.
  • Senate Bill No. 2811 – requires school report cards to include information concerning the number of mental health professionals and school safety specialists employed by each school district. P.L.2021, c.339.
  • Senate Bill No. 994 – requires State agencies and political subdivisions to make good faith efforts to purchase five percent of goods and services from the Central Nonprofit Agency. P.L.2021, c.385.
  • Senate Bill No. 1020 – requires school report cards to include a demographic breakdown of students who receive disciplinary actions; requires the N.J. Commissioner of Education to establish a Statewide database concerning certain disciplinary actions. P.L.2021, c.387.
  • Senate Bill No. 2160 – creates a special education unit within the Office of Administrative Law; requires an annual report. P.L.2021, c.390.
  • Senate Bill No. 2830 – requires the educator preparation program to report the passing rates of students who complete certain tests and to disseminate information on test fee waiver programs; permits collection of student fees for certain testing costs. P.L.2021, c.393.
  • Senate Bill No. 2835 – requires the compilation of data and issuance of annual reports on the N.J. teacher workforce.  P.L.2021, c.394.
  • Senate Bill No. 3488 – modifies certain procedures pertaining to school district regionalization; establishes a grant program for cost reimbursement of conducting regionalization feasibility studies; provides financial incentives for regionalization. P.L.2021, c.402.
  • Senate Bill No. 3685 – permits teachers and professional staff members who provide special services who are retired from the Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund (“TPAF”) to return to employment for up to two years without re-enrollment in TPAF if employment commences during the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school years. P.L.2021, c.408.
  • Senate Bill No. 3764 – establishes a Commission on Asian American Heritage in the N.J. Department of Education. P.L.2021, c.410.
  • Senate Bill No. 4021 – requires school districts to provide instruction on the history and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders as part of the implementation of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards in Social Studies. P.L.2021, c.416.
  • Senate Bill No. 4074 – allows alternative evaluation in place of basic skills testing requirements for certain teacher certifications. P.L.2021, c.420.
  • Assembly Bill No. 3392 – requires a student representative to be appointed to each board of education of school districts and board of trustees charter schools that include grades nine through twelve. P.L.2021, c.446.
  • Assembly Bill No. 4434 – establishes a student wellness grant program in the N.J. Department of Education. P.L.2021, c.456.
  • Assembly Bill No. 4856 – requires Internet websites and web services of school districts, charter schools, renaissance schools, and the Marie H. Katzenbach School for the Deaf to be accessible to persons with disabilities. P.L.2021, c.461.
  • Assembly Bill No. 5814 – creates the Office of School Bus Safety in the N.J. Department of Education; appropriates $200,000.00. P.L.2021, c.471.
  • Assembly Bill No. 6207 – eliminates the requirement for the N.J. Department of Education to set certain tuition rates for approved private schools for students with disabilities in certain cases. P.L.2021, c.487.

For more information on any of these new laws or related issues, please contact the labor and education attorneys at Schenck Price.

DISCLAIMER: This Alert is designed to keep you aware of recent developments in the law. It is not intended to be legal advice, which can only be given after the attorney understands the facts of a particular matter and the goals of the client.