This is truly an important work that highlights legitimate concerns and thoughtful deliberation from practitioners and stakeholders at the heart of education in New Jersey! My hope is the time, effort and expert advice will not go unheeded as the legislature has the opportunity to restore and repair critical aspects involving dignity, respect and executive management to attract and retain quality leadership at the top spot in all districts given the enormous degree of responsibility of that position.
Likewise, many of the suggestions prove to be simply a "common sense" approach to governance and operational integrity rather than "unnecessary compromise" in areas like the travel regulations.
Getting on the road at 5:45 a.m. to beat the traffic on a 2.5 hour drive to Atlantic City for a 8:30 registration is counter productive to starting fresh on-time and ready to tackle a days long training!" - but hey at least we get .31cent per mile
Many of the definitions, (i.e., "net budget") have not value as they are no longer relevant or consistent with our current funding laws [N.J.A.C. 6A:23A 1-2] and should be eliminated.
Another reality of the 2% capped environment is the fact that many educational programs are being jepordized, eliminated or passed up as they two percent levy caps often translate to less than one percent budget caps. This penalizes the less wealthy school districts and erodes opportunities due to competing operational costs such as health care, salary increases and rising special education tuitions and services that are often mandated due to legal requirements of Individual Educational Plans or I.E.P(s) - N.J.A.C. 6A:23A-10.3. The conclusion of all groups is that the "Banked Cap" be extended to a period of five years for future increased taxing authority vs. the current three year expiration date.
It is our hope that legislative members consider the advice, recommendations and counsel of those on the front lines in administering and working within the framework of public education in New Jersey.