SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ  - Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr. to prevent the state from unjustly punishing a school district, by withholding state aid because the majority of the district's students refuse to take the PARCC test is now law.

Earlier this year, the state commissioner of education suggested the possibility of withholding state aid if a significant number of students in a district do not take an assessment. 

"Threatening to cut state aid to districts for a decision made entirely by parents - a decision they believe is in the best interest of their children - is unreasonable," said Diegnan (D-Middlesex), who chairs the Assembly Education Committee and sponsored a bill to allow parents to opt their children out of the PARCC test. "Losing funds would put school districts already stretching their dollars in a financial predicament. This law will prevent districts from being penalized for matters beyond their control and protect students who would ultimately be the ones hurt by such an action."

The law (A-4485) prohibits the state commissioner of education from withholding state school aid from a school district based on the participation rate of its students on the state assessments.