In the March/April 2019 issue of School Leader we explored the notifications and reports that boards are required to direct to the executive county superintendent (ECS). In this issue, we continue this crucial checklist with part 2.

The executive county superintendents, of course, direct the county offices of the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE). The county offices function to provide support, oversight and routine communications between local districts and the NJDOE’s central offices.

The responsibilities of school districts to report to the executive county superintendent are described throughout the New Jersey Department of Education administrative code. Below are more of these responsibilities:

BOARD OF EDUCATION (9000 BYLAWS)

N.J.A.C. 6A:28-3.1 Disclosure Statement

All school officials must file a Financial Disclosure Statement and a Personal/Relative Disclosure Statement with their local board secretaries or charter school designees who must file the original disclosure statements with the office of the executive county superintendent. The disclosure statement must be filed annually, on or before April 30 each year.

N.J.A.C. 6A:28-3.2 Duties of District Boards of Education and Charter Schools

The board secretary must submit a list to the ECS of the names of those school officials, by office and position, whose responsibilities would require the filing of the Financial and Personal/Relative Disclosure Statements. This list must be submitted by Feb. 1.

The board secretary must report all newly elected/appointed board members to the executive county superintendent.

Charter schools must also submit their disclosure statements and the list of newly appointed board members to the ECS.

The board secretary or charter school designee must file with the ECS a written list of any newly appointed administrators or supervisors subject to the requirement to file disclosure statements under the School Ethics Act.

N.J.A.C. 6A:28-3.4 In the Event of Incomplete Filing

When the board secretary or charter school designee is notified that a disclosure statement is incomplete, he or she must return the disclosure statements to the school official. The school official has 20 days from receipt of the returned filing to complete the disclosure statements and file with the board secretary or charter school designee. The board secretary or charter school designee must file the completed disclosure statements with the executive county superintendent.

3000 BUSINESS AND NONINSTRUCTIONAL OPERATIONS: STUDENT TRANSPORTATION

N.J.A.C. 6A:27-1.7 Insurance

Self-insured transportation contractors and boards of education (as provided in N.J.S.A. 48:4-12 and 13) must file a certificate of self-insurance with the executive county superintendent.

N.J.A.C. 6A:27-2.3 Responsibilities of the Resident District Board of Education

Boards of education are required to advertise and receive bids for nonpublic school transportation (in accordance with N.J.A.C. 6A:27-2.1). Upon the request of the ECS, the board must provide documentation that the criteria for the bidding pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:27-2.1(b)3 has been utilized.

CONTRACTING FOR TRANSPORTATION SERVICES

N.J.A.C. 6A:27-9.1 General Provisions

All contracts for student transportation require the approval of the executive county superintendent.

N.J.A.C. 6A:27-9.2 Responsibilities of the District Board

Prior to the advertisement for bids for transportation contracts, a copy of the specifications must be submitted to the executive county superintendent for review for compliance with law.

N.J.A.C. 6A:27-9.12 Quoted Contracts

Quoted contracts for unanticipated transportation services submitted to the executive county superintendent, must be accompanied by a certified copy of the board of education minutes authorizing the contract, copies of the contractor’s certificate of insurance, performance surety bond, if applicable, and evidence of three quotes.

N.J.A.C. 6A:27-9.13 Renewing Contracts

Annual extensions of an existing contract, approved by the executive county superintendent, are permitted provided that the contract was entered into through competitive bidding; the terms of the contract remain the same; and there is no increase in the annual amount of the contract to the district board of education, or the increase in the contractual base amount as a result of such extension does not result in an effective increase that exceeds for the school year the annual rise in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as defined in N.J.S.A. 18A:7F-45.

The increase may exceed the rise in the CPI when the increase, as provided for in the original bid, is directly attributable to the addition of an aide, a route change to accommodate a new student rider, or safety concerns. Any such extension requires the approval of the executive county superintendent.

N.J.A.C. 6A:27-9.14 Addendum to Contract

An addendum is required to adjust the cost of an existing contract or contract renewal. An addendum to a contract or contract renewal must be submitted to the executive county superintendent for approval within 30 days of the district board of education’s approval. The contract addendum must be submitted on the form prescribed by the commissioner. A certified copy of the minutes of the district board of education authorizing the adjustment and additional performance surety bond, if required, must accompany the contract addendum form when it is submitted to the executive county superintendent.

N.J.A.C. 6A:27-9.15 Transfer Contracts and Contract Renewal

Whenever a contractor has entered into or intends to enter into an agreement to sell or assign to a purchaser all of the contractor’s rights and liabilities with respect to all of the transportation contracts held by the contractor, the district board of education and the executive county superintendent must approve the assignment. In addition, when the contract to sell or assign all of the contractor’s rights and liabilities with respect to transportation contracts serviced by a specific terminal(s) that will no longer be operated by the contractor for student transportation services, the district board of education and the ECS must approve the assignment.

N.J.A.C. 6A:27-10.1 Coordinated Transportation Services, General Requirements

Resident district boards of education must adopt by resolution an agreement with the coordinated transportation services agency (CTSA) for transportation services. A copy of the board resolution to participate in the coordinated services, the contractual agreement and a copy of the board minutes from both parties must be sent to the executive county superintendent.

N.J.A.C. 6A:27-10.2 Coordinated Transportation Services Agencies

The board must attempt to utilize a CTSA for the nonpublic school students before the determination is made to pay aid in lieu of transportation. The executive county superintendent must be notified when it has been determined that the inability to provide transportation services is due to calendar and/or schedule conflicts.

N.J.A.C. 6A:27-12.3 Students Left on a School Bus

The chief school administrator or their designee shall complete the student left unattended on the bus report prescribed by the commissioner and submit it to the executive county superintendent within 10 days of the incident.

N.J.A.C. 6A:27-13.4 Corrective Plan

A district board of education found to be deficient as a result of the NJDOE Office of Student Transportation review must submit to the office and the executive county superintendent a corrective action plan addressing the specific recommendations.

Most of the reporting requirements are in the areas of transportation, facilities and fiscal accountability. The general principle at work is that the executive county superintendent oversees that the public interest and public money is protected.

Not covered in this column are the notification and reporting requirements to the executive county superintendent regarding fiscal accountability, facilities and regionalization. A summary of these requirements will be provided in another installment of this article.

For sample and model regulations or for help developing policy and regulation language to suit your needs do not hesitate to contact NJSBA Policy Services.

Jean Harkness is an NJSBA policy consultant.

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