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The following bills were released Dec. 12, 2016 by the Assembly Education Committee.

A3785 Requires the state to pay educational costs of students who reside in a homeless shelter outside a district of residence for more than one year. The state would be required to pay the educational costs of any student who resides for more than one year in a domestic violence shelter or transitional living facility or homeless shelter located outside the student’s district of residence. A series of administrative law decisions have ruled if a homeless family continues to reside in a particular school district for more than one year, then the family is considered to be domiciled in that district, and the district becomes responsible for the costs of the child’s education. This bill will avoid concentrating the educational costs of students who live in homeless shelters for an extended period of time in the communities in which the shelters are located. NJSBA supports the bill.

A3944 Requires the New Jersey Department of Education to develop an educational fact sheet for distribution to parents of student-athletes and cheerleaders concerning the use and misuse of prescription opioids. This bill requires the commissioner of education, in consultation with the commissioner of health, to develop an educational fact sheet that provides information concerning the use and misuse of opioid drugs in the event that a student-athlete or cheerleader is prescribed an opioid for a sports-related injury. The bill also requires school districts and non-public schools that participate in interscholastic sports or cheerleading programs to distribute the fact sheet annually to the parents or guardians of student-athletes and cheerleaders, and to obtain a signed acknowledgement of the receipt of the fact sheet by the student and his parent or guardian. This is to ensure that young people and their parents are educated as early as possible about the dangers of opioid abuse and addiction. NJSBA supports the bill.

A4284 Provides that school districts may receive reimbursement for costs incurred on or after Jan. 1, 2016 for testing school drinking water for lead. The annual appropriations act for fiscal year 2016-2017 included a $10 million appropriation to be used to reimburse school districts for costs incurred when conducting lead testing in drinking water in schools. The corresponding language provision stipulated that the reimbursement would be made pursuant to program requirements to be established by the state Department of Education, which would be effective upon filing with the Office of Administrative Law (OAL). The department’s requirements stated that school districts would only be eligible to receive a reimbursement for lead testing performed after July 13, 2016. This bill would allow a school district to receive a reimbursement for lead testing conducted on or after Jan. 1, 2016, but before the department filed the program requirements with the OAL, if the lead testing meets or exceeds the program requirements established by the department. NJSBA supports the bill.

The following bill was released Dec. 12, 2016 by the Assembly Judiciary Committee:

A4206 Requires candidates for election to a school board to file with their nominating petitions specific affirmation that they have not been convicted of crimes that would disqualify them from office. This bill would require a candidate for election to the office of school board member to file with his nominating petition a specific affirmation that he has not been convicted of any of the disqualifying crimes listed pursuant to N.J.S.18A:12-1. Under current law, a person is disqualified from membership on a board of education or a charter school board of trustees if the person has been convicted of certain crimes or offenses. A member must, within 30 days of election or appointment to the board, undergo a criminal background check for the purpose of ensuring that the member is not disqualified. In addition, the law requires a member of a board of education, before entering into the duties of the office, to take an oath that must include a specific declaration that the member is not disqualified from holding office due to a conviction of one of the disqualifying crimes or offenses. A member who falsely swears or affirms that he is not disqualified due to a conviction is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree. NJSBA supports the bill.

The following bill was released Dec. 12, 2016 by the Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee:

A4165 – Requires high school driver education course, certain new driver brochures, and driver’s license written exam to include bicycle and pedestrian safety information. This bill requires that the curriculum for approved classroom driver education courses and the informational brochure distributed by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) to the parents and guardians of beginning drivers include information concerning the importance of safely sharing the road with bicycles and pedestrians. It also requires that the courses and brochures emphasize the importance of operating a motor vehicle in a manner that safely shares the roadway with pedestrians, bicyclists, skaters, riders of motorized-scooters and other non-motorized vehicles. The curriculum should include, but not be limited to, topics such as passing a cyclist on the road, recognizing bicycle lanes, navigating intersections with pedestrians and cyclists, and exiting a vehicle without endangering pedestrians and cyclists. The bill further requires the MVC to include bicycle and pedestrian safety as part of the written examination required to obtain an examination permit and basic driver’s license. NJSBA supports the bill.