The State of New Jersey School Boards Legislation Team met on Saturday, May 9, 2020, in Trenton virtually.  Mandates, Bills and Laws continue to be issued and changed on a daily basis.   The Legislation Team and the State of New Jersey School Boards Finance Committee, which met on Tuesday May 12, 2020, discussed continued updates that affect New Jersey School Districts.

Through the Coronavirus Relief Fund, the CARES Act provides for payments to State, Local, and Tribal governments navigating the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The CARES Act established the $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund.

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Treasury will make payments from the Fund to States and eligible units of local government; the District of Columbia and U.S. Territories (the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands); and Tribal governments (collectively “governments”).

The CARES Act requires that the payments from the Coronavirus Relief Fund only be used to cover expenses that—

(1) are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19);

(2) were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020 (the date of enactment of the CARES Act) for the State or government; and

(3) were incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020, and ends on December 30, 2020.

 

Senate Bill 2392 which authorizes the Department of Community Affairs to permit municipalities to delay or alter the transmission of property tax revenue to school districts during gubernatorial-declared emergencies, which is the state’s current situation passed the Assembly today, May 18, 2020, 79-0.  Municipalities will also have to go through the Department of Education to delay transmission of property taxes.

 

On May 22, 2020, the State of New Jersey Treasurer will give the report on the current state of affairs which will effect School Districts.  There will be a two year shortfall.  

 

The New Jersey Governor will give his Governor’s address in the end of August, 2020.  Boards of Educations have been advised to prepare a Budget using the numbers that were presented in January, 2020, a flat budget and a budget that may cut their state aid by 20%.  

 

The New Jersey State School Boards Convention for October, 2020, for in-persons meetings has been cancelled due to the protections of all school board members, officers and presenters.  The Convention, which promotes continued education for school board members by holding seminars, action labs and legal updates that benefit the board members and the tax payers/community will now be held virtually from October 20th to the 22nd.

 

The State of New Jersey School Boards Association will need detailed directions from the Department of Education on the reopening of schools, how to contend with the social/emotional and academic achievements of all students, including special needs students and how to proceed.  NJSBA is working on a white paper plan on how to process all the concerns for reopening schools.  

 

Senator Sarlo and Senate President Ruiz,  Bill S-2383, which would create a “Bridge Year” for members of the Class of 2021 and 2022, allowing students to attend a New Jersey Community College after graduation while returning to their high school to participate in spring activities has been presented. 

 

Washington, D.C., May 15, 2020) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the extension of three nationwide waivers, giving child nutrition program operators the flexibility they need to continue to feed children while promoting social distancing and keeping families safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

 

Teachers and staff throughout New Jersey have been commended by NJSBA Executive Lawrence Feinsod for moving forwarding in uncharted territories to continue to educate their students virtually with total collaboration with their CSA and Administration.  

 

On April 28, 2020, New Jersey State School Boards, NJ Association of School Administrators, The Education Research Foundation, NJ Asbo (Leaders in the Business of Education), New Jersey Education Association, NJPTA ad NJPrincipals and Administrators Association sent a letter to Governor Philip Murphy stating that these organizations represent all stakeholders in groups K-12 public education are in complete agreement with the cautious, data centered approach to reopening the state’s businesses and services which are reflected in “The Road Back”  Restoring economy health through Public health.  The LEE Group did not believe that districts will be in the position to reopen during the current school year, which gave their concerns of social distancing and other preventive measures in the classroom, cafeteria, gymnasiums, school buses and during extra curricular activities.

 

The Delegate Assembly will be held virtually on June 27, 2020 where the State School Finance Committee will give their Progress Report on the School Funding Formula and discuss Senate President Sweeney’s request to resubmit the Bill to the Governor to allow those school districts who cannot meet adequacy to go above the 2% cap.

 

Debbie Boyle, Immediate Past President of the Middlesex County School Boards Executive Board and NJSBA Board of Directors’ appointment as Legislative District #18 representative and Finance Committee