The New Jersey School Boards Association was founded in 1914; 2009 marks the 95th anniversary of the organization. To celebrate throughout the past year, School Board Notes has published highlights from its archives. Below are excerpts from stories printed between 2005 and 2009.
2005: New Jersey Quality Single Accountability Continuum (NJQSAC) becomes law. Education Commissioner William Librera resigns. Public school enrollment is at 1,401,698. The N.J. Supreme Court rules the state must ensure full funding for Abbott preschool programs.
2006: NJSBA urges a greater focus on shared services. The state Legislature holds a special session on property taxes. New Jersey Quality Single Accountability Continuum (NJQSAC) monitoring set to begin 2007-2008. The state announces it will implement the NJSMART student tracking system. Lucille E. Davy is appointed commissioner of education; she had been serving as acting commissioner since 2005.
2007: The Corzine administration unveils a new school funding formula. NJSBA’s study on shared services shows a need for changes in law, spotlights best practices in districts. The State Board adopts regulations to allow schools to conduct random drug testing. Marie S. Bilik is named executive director of NJSBA after the retirement of Edwina Lee. NJSBA releases a report seeking major changes in special education policy. Gov. Corzine signs legislation dissolving the troubled New Jersey Schools Construction Corp., replacing it with the Schools Development Authority. The Accountability Act is signed by Gov. Corzine; requiring additional board member training.
2008: The Appellate Division of Superior Court denies an appeal from eight rural school districts seeking Abbott-like status. Accountability regulations enacted: far-reaching changes include travel restrictions, efficiency standards, and expanded authority for executive county superintendents. The Assembly votes to move school board elections to November, while eliminating the vote on school budgets that are below the state-imposed tax-levy caps; the measure is not posted for a vote in the Senate. The state Department of Education proposes more rigorous high school curriculum
2009: Education Week’s “Quality Counts 2009” report ranks New Jersey’s public schools as among the best in the nation. The federal stimulus package helps boost state aid to schools; the 2009-2010 state budget increases direct state aid by $300 million over the previous year. The N.J. Supreme Court rules that the School Funding Reform Act of 2008 is constitutional. Schools prepare for H1N1 influenza. A new law eliminates 26 send-all districts. Chris Christie is elected governor; NJSBA meets with the governor-elect's transition team subcommittee.