On the second try, Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed a bill introduced by Assemblymen Nick Chiaravalloti (D-31) and Ralph Caputo (D-28) to allow certain school districts to delay their New Jersey Quality Single Accountability Continuum (NJQSAC) review into law.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“We are proud in New Jersey to be counted among the best schools in the nation … Instead of filling out NJQSAC paperwork, we’d rather school districts focus on combating the challenges brought on by the pandemic, from conducting remote instruction to delivering food to students who normally receive free or reduced-price school meals,” Chiaravalloti and Caputo said in a joint statement.
“The needs of our students should always come first.”
Bill A-4975 sought to postpone NJQSAC reviews scheduled for the 2020-2021 school year in districts that were designated as high performing districts in their most recent review.
Districts not designated as high performing would still be reviewed in the 2020-2021 school year, but a district may postpone their review by one year if it notifies the commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Education that it is not able to complete their review due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Postponed reviews would be rescheduled for three years after the review was originally scheduled to take place.
Districts are reviewed on a staggered schedule, however, that schedule has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bill unanimously cleared both the Assembly (79-0) and the Senate (40-0) this time around.
Murphy vetoed the bill after it made it through the state legislature in October, prompting Chiaravaloti to exclaim that he was “extremely disappointed” and “blindsided.”
Nevertheless, it is clear that persistence paid off in this particular instance.