New Bill Would Let Parents Move Their Kids To Out-Of-District Schools

BOE_building_TLS-MediumLegislation that would create a permanent statewide public school choice program will go before an Assembly panel this week. The measure would allow parents to move their children to schools located across district lines. The new program would replace a pilot program that expired in 2005, though many participating districts continue to informally honor previously agreed-to student arrangements. The education committee is due to consider the measure Thursday. If approved, schools seeking to participate in the program would apply to the state education commissioner, detailing services available to their students. The applications also would include an accounting of fiscal issues schools could face by taking part in the program.

Students wishing to transfer to new schools would have to submit applications to the receiving districts, which would review them and make decisions based in part on the student’s interests in their school’s offerings. Schools also would be allowed to hold lotteries if the number of applications outpace the number of available seats.

Sending districts would have to provide or pay for transportation for elementary school pupils who live more than two miles from the receiving district, and for secondary school students who live more than 2½ miles from their new school. Sending districts, though, would not have to pay these costs if the student’s new school is more than 20 miles from their home.

“Public school choice is an important step to ensuring each child has the ability to attend a school that is best-suited to their individual needs and talents,” said Assemblywoman Mila Jasey (D-South Orange). “More importantly, public school choice programs can improve educational outcomes for students without seeing taxpayer money funneled out of New Jersey’s strong public school system.”

Jasey, a former member of the South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education, is sponsoring the measure with Joan Voss (D-Fort Lee), who is a retired educator.

Voss believes the proposed system would be “fair and equitable” for students and schools.

“No doubt, some students who find themselves stifled at their current school would prosper in a neighboring school district,” Voss said. “But we also need to be fair and mindful of the necessity to balance the needs of students with costs ultimately borne by taxpayers.”

Legislation that would create a permanent statewide public school choice program will go before an Assembly panel this week.

The measure would allow parents to move their children to schools located across district lines. The new program would replace a pilot program that expired in 2005, though many participating districts continue to informally honor previously agreed-to student arrangements.

The education committee is due to consider the measure Thursday.

If approved, schools seeking to participate in the program would apply to the state education commissioner, detailing services available to their students. The applications also would include an accounting of fiscal issues schools could face by taking part in the program.

Students wishing to transfer to new schools would have to submit applications to the receiving districts, which would review them and make decisions based in part on the student’s interests in their school’s offerings. Schools also would be allowed to hold lotteries if the number of applications outpace the number of available seats.

Sending districts would have to provide or pay for transportation for elementary school pupils who live more than two miles from the receiving district, and for secondary school students who live more than 2½ miles from their new school. Sending districts, though, would not have to pay these costs if the student’s new school is more than 20 miles from their home.

“Public school choice is an important step to ensuring each child has the ability to attend a school that is best-suited to their individual needs and talents,” said Assemblywoman Mila Jasey (D-South Orange). “More importantly, public school choice programs can improve educational outcomes for students without seeing taxpayer money funneled out of New Jersey’s strong public school system.”

Jasey, a former member of the South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education, is sponsoring the measure with Joan Voss (D-Fort Lee), who is a retired educator.

Voss believes the proposed system would be “fair and equitable” for students and schools.

“No doubt, some students who find themselves stifled at their current school would prosper in a neighboring school district,” Voss said. “But we also need to be fair and mindful of the necessity to balance the needs of students with costs ultimately borne by taxpayers.” AP

This content, and any other content on TLS, may not be republished or reproduced without prior permission from TLS. Copying or reproducing our content is both against the law and against Halacha. To inquire about using our content, including videos or photos, email us at [email protected].

Stay up to date with our news alerts by following us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

**Click here to join over 15,000 receiving our Whatsapp Status updates!**

**Click here to join the official TLS WhatsApp Community!**

Got a news tip? Email us at [email protected], Text 415-857-2667, or WhatsApp 609-661-8668.

Check out the latest on TLS instagram

3 COMMENTS

  1. Hey – this idea sounds OK with me. It reminds me of when I went to high school. Jackson did not have a high school at the time so I was sent to Lakewood High, along with students from Manchester, Howell, etc. Jackson paid for my “tuition” and busing to Lakewood. If we did that in Lakewood with all the PUBLIC SCHOOL kids (5200 of them) then Lakewood could GET RID of all the teachers, administrators, secretaries, school aids, etc. That SHOULD translate into a HUGE lowering of the school tax. Just “private” school students (22,000 of them) would remain in town. The public school buildings, not being on the tax roll anyhow, could be turned into “private” schools and the burden of the up-keep of the buildings would be off the tax payers back. Might just lower the busing cost as many of the “private” students could be all transported to one place instead of all over town, as is done now. Just some thoughts I have about it.

  2. you must change the picture of the Lakewood Board of Education’s Administration Bldg. to there present location where the old Jamesway was. Your present picture is NOT the Boards Bldg. but Tasbar.

Comments are closed.