New Jersey Revised Statutes § 18a:7g-2 - Findings, Declarations Relative To Construction, Financing Of Public School Facilities.

18A:7G-2 Findings, declarations relative to construction, financing of public school facilities.

2.The Legislature finds and declares that:

a.The Constitution of the State of New Jersey requires the Legislature to provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of free public schools and this legislative responsibility includes ensuring that students are educated in physical facilities that are safe, healthy, and conducive to learning.

b.Inadequacies in the quality, utility, and safety of educational facilities have arisen among local school districts of this State. In order to ensure that the Legislature's constitutional responsibility for adequate educational facilities is met, there is a need to establish an efficiency standard for educational facilities at the elementary, middle, and secondary school levels which will assure that the core curriculum content standards are taught to all of the children of the State in a setting which facilitates and promotes that learning.

c.Educational infrastructure inadequacies are greatest in the SDA districts where maintenance has been deferred and new construction has not been initiated due to concerns about cost. To remedy the facilities inadequacies of the SDA districts, the State must promptly engage in a facilities needs assessment and fund the entire cost of repairing, renovating, and constructing the new school facilities determined by the Commissioner of Education to be required to meet the school facilities efficiency standards in the SDA districts. In other districts, the State must also identify need in view of anticipated growth in school population, and must contribute to the cost of the renovation and construction of new facilities to ensure the provision of a thorough and efficient education in those districts.

d.While providing that the educational infrastructure meets the requirements of a thorough and efficient education, the State must also protect the interests of taxpayers who will bear the burden of this obligation. Design of school facilities should incorporate maximum operating efficiencies and new technologies to advance the energy efficiency of school facilities and the efficiency of other school building systems, construction should be achieved in as efficient a manner as possible, and a mechanism to assure proper maintenance of new facilities should be established and implemented, in order to reduce the overall cost of the program and to preserve this infrastructure investment.

L.2000, c.72, s.2; amended 2007, c.260, s.38.

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Last modified: October 11, 2016