(TRENTON) – Each school district in the state is required periodically to undergo a comprehensive review by the New Jersey Department of Education under the New Jersey Quality Single Accountability Continuum. Districts are reviewed on a staggered schedule; however, that schedule has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aiming to ensure school districts and the Department of Education are able to focus their time and resources on addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, the full Assembly on Thursday voted 79-0 to approve a bill (A-4975) to postpone NJQSAC reviews scheduled for the 2020-2021 school year in districts that were designated as high performing districts in their most recent review. Districts not designated as high performing would still be reviewed in the 2020-2021 school year, but a district may postpone their review by one year if it notifies the Commissioner of Education that it is not able to complete their review due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Postponed reviews would be rescheduled for three years after the review was originally scheduled to take place.
The bill also passed the Senate on Thursday 40-0, and now goes to the Governor’s desk.
The measure’s sponsors, Assembly Democrats Nicholas Chiaravalloti (D-Hudson) and Ralph Caputo (D-Essex) released the following joint statement:
“We are proud in New Jersey to be counted among the best schools in the nation. We regularly evaluate our schools to ensure they are meeting rigorous standards for delivering high quality education, and keep track of the progress in our districts. The COVID-19 pandemic has understandably complicated this process.
“Instead of filling out NJQSAC paperwork, we’d rather school districts focus on combating the challenges brought on by the pandemic, from conducting remote instruction to delivering food to students who normally receive free or reduced-price school meals. The needs of our students should always come first.”