ASSEMBLY, No. 1911

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

213th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JANUARY 24, 2008

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman FREDERICK SCALERA

District 36 (Bergen, Essex and Passaic)

Assemblywoman JOAN M. QUIGLEY

District 32 (Bergen and Hudson)

Assemblyman VINCENT PRIETO

District 32 (Bergen and Hudson)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblyman Caputo and Assemblywoman Evans

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes "New Jersey Partnership for Secure Schools Pilot Program" in Department of Education; appropriates $3 million.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act establishing the "New Jersey Partnership for Secure Schools Pilot Program" in the Department of Education, supplementing chapter 6 of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes, and making an appropriation.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

1.  The Commissioner of Education shall establish a public school security pilot program to be known as the "New Jersey Partnership for Secure Schools Pilot Program."  The goal of the pilot program shall be to remedy security risks in public school districts selected for participation and to gather data for the development of Statewide school security standards.

 

2.  a.  The commissioner shall select one public school district in each county for participation in the pilot program.  A district selected for participation in the pilot program shall contain no fewer than three and no more than five schools.  In selecting the school districts to participate, the commissioner shall seek a cross section of school districts from urban, suburban, and rural areas of the State.

b.  For each district selected for participation in the pilot program, the commissioner shall issue a security action assessment grant not to exceed $7,500.  Pursuant to guidelines established by the commissioner, a school district shall use the security action assessment grant to fund a security action assessment in accordance with the provisions of subsection d. of this section.

c.  The commissioner shall select two professional engineering firms, hereinafter referred to as security firms, to implement the pilot program.  Each security firm shall, at a minimum:

(1) be licensed to practice professional engineering in the State of New Jersey by the New Jersey State Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors in the Department of Law and Public Safety;

(2) be prequalified by the Division of Property Management and Construction in the Department of the Treasury with a classification as required for security work, and with an aggregate rating limit in the amount of $10 million or more;

(3) be a member of the International Association of Professional Security Consultants;

(4) be a "women's business enterprise" or a "minority business enterprise" as defined in section 1 of P.L.1985, c.490 (C.18A:18A‑51);

(5) have its principal office in the State of New Jersey;

(6) have at least 25 years of continuous security and technology design experience, including demonstrated expertise in security and technology design in New Jersey public schools; and

(7) have previous experience in the preparation of Statewide standards for New Jersey public schools.

d.  The commissioner shall assign each pilot school district to a security firm selected pursuant to subsection c. of this section.  For each district assigned to a security firm, the firm shall develop a security action assessment.  Each assessment shall be based on the security firm's evaluation of the district's security needs and on the School District Security Best Practice Field Checklist prepared for the district in 2005 as required by the Governor and the New Jersey Domestic Security Preparedness Task Force, and shall include:

(1) a detailed security analysis of the district as a whole and of each school in the district;

(2) a proposed remedy for security deficiencies identified in the security analysis; and

(3) an itemized assessment of the cost to implement the remedies proposed in the audit to address identified deficiencies.

 

3.  a.  The security firm shall submit the security action assessment completed for the school district to the superintendent and board of education of the district.  The assessment, and all records and reports relating to the assessment, shall be the property of the board of education.

b.  Following the completion of the assessments, the security firms shall, based on the experience of those assessments, jointly submit to the commissioner interim recommended Statewide security standards for elementary and secondary school facilities.  The commissioner shall review the recommended interim standards and provide feedback to the security firms on the adequacy of the interim standards.

 

4.  a.  In the event that the security action assessment has identified security deficiencies, the board of education of the district shall submit an application to the commissioner for a security implementation grant to address the deficiencies.  The application shall be in such form and contain such information as the commissioner shall require.

b.  For each district which submits a grant application pursuant to subsection a. of this section, the commissioner shall, within the limit of funds appropriated or otherwise made available for these purposes, issue a security implementation grant.

c.  A school district to which a security implementation grant has been issued shall use the grant funds to implement the remedies proposed in its security action assessment.  The security firm to which the district has been assigned pursuant to subsection b. of section 2 of this act shall provide project oversight and shall work with selected corporate partners who shall be responsible for the installation of the systems proposed in the district's security action assessment. The costs of professional design fees and other services provided by the security firm and selected corporate partners shall be paid using funds from the security implementation grant.

d.  The commissioner may establish such rules for the expenditure of grant funding allocated under this section as he deems appropriate, and may designate funding allocated pursuant to this section for specific remedies, or schools, within a district.

e.  No school district shall be required to implement any component of its assessment for which State funding is not available.

 

5.  Following the implementation of the pilot program in the school districts selected for participation, and based upon the experience of that implementation, the security firms shall jointly submit to the commissioner final recommended Statewide security standards for elementary and secondary schools.  The commissioner shall review the standards and consult with the security firms on any modifications to the standards which the commissioner may deem necessary.  Within six months of the submission of the final recommended standards, the commissioner shall adopt approved school security standards for inclusion as a final eligible cost in all school facilities projects approved and supported by the State pursuant to the provisions of P.L.2000, c.72 (C.18A:7G-1 et al.).

 

6.  The commissioner is authorized to call upon any department, office, division or agency of the State, or of any county, municipality or school district of the State, to supply such data, program reports and other information, personnel and assistance as he deems necessary to discharge his responsibilities under this act.  These departments, offices, divisions and agencies shall, to the extent possible, and not inconsistent with any other law of this State, cooperate with the commissioner and shall furnish him with such information, personnel and assistance as may be necessary or helpful to accomplish the purposes of this act.

 

7.  The commissioner, in consultation with the selected security firms, shall, within 180 days of the effective date of this act and every 180 days thereafter, submit a report on the pilot program to the Legislature pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1).  The report shall include, but not be limited to: the status of the pilot program, as a whole and in each of the districts selected for participation; the cost to date of implementing the pilot program; the projected status of the program, as a whole and in each of the districts selected for participation, for the following six months; and any emergent security needs which may arise in a district selected for participation.

 

8.  There is appropriated $3,000,000 from the General Fund to the Department of Education to implement the provisions of this act, including, but not limited to, the security assessments grants, the security implementation grants, and the development of the interim and final recommended Statewide security standards for elementary and secondary school facilities.

 

9.  This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

This bill establishes the "New Jersey Partnership for Secure Schools Pilot Program," a public school pilot program to remedy security risks in public school districts selected for participation and to gather data for the development of Statewide school security standards.

The pilot program would be established in the Department of Education.  The Commissioner of Education would, in accordance with criteria set forth in the bill, select one public school district in each county for participation in the pilot program.  For each district selected for participation, the commissioner would issue a security action assessment grant not to exceed $7,500.  The commissioner would also select two professional engineering firms ("security firms") to implement the pilot program.  A security firm selected to implement the pilot program would be required to: (1) hold a license to practice professional engineering in the State of New Jersey by the New Jersey State Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors in the Department of Law and Public Safety; (2) be prequalified by the Division of Property Management and Construction in the Department of the Treasury with a classification as required for security work, and with an aggregate rating limit in the amount of $10 million or more; (3) be a member of the International Association of Professional Security Consultants; (4) be a "women's business enterprise" or a "minority business enterprise" as defined under P.L.1985, c.490; (5) have its principal office in the State of New Jersey; (6) have at least 25 years of continuous security and technology design experience, including demonstrated expertise in security and technology design in New Jersey public schools; and (7)  have previous experience in the preparation of Statewide standards for New Jersey public schools.

     The commissioner would assign each pilot school district to one of the two security firms.  For each district assigned to a security firm, the firm would develop a "security action assessment."  Each assessment would be based on the security firm's evaluation of the district's security needs and on the School District Security Best Practice Field Checklist prepared for the district in 2005 as required by the Governor and the New Jersey Domestic Security Preparedness Task Force.  The assessment would be required to include: (1) a detailed security analysis of the district as a whole and of each school in the district; (2) a proposed remedy for security deficiencies identified in the security analysis; and (3) an itemized assessment of the cost to implement the remedies proposed in the audit to address identified deficiencies.

In the event that the security action assessment for a school district identified security deficiencies, the district board of education would submit an application to the commissioner for a security implementation grant to address the deficiencies.  The commissioner would within the limit of available funds issue a security implementation grant.  A school district would use the grant funds to implement the remedies proposed in its security action assessment.  The security firm to which the district had been assigned by the commissioner would provide project oversight.  The firm would also work with selected corporate partners, which would be responsible for the installation of the systems proposed in the district's security action assessment.  No school district would be required to implement any component of its assessment for which State funding was not available.

Following the completion of the security action assessments, the security firms would, based on the experience of those assessments, jointly submit interim recommended Statewide security standards for elementary and secondary school facilities to the commissioner.  The commissioner would review the recommendations and provide feedback to the firms. Following the final implementation of the pilot program, the security firms would submit final recommended Statewide security standards for elementary and secondary schools.  The commissioner would review the standards, and consult with the security firms on any modifications to the standards which the commissioner deemed necessary.  Within six months of the submission of the final recommended standards, the commissioner would adopt approved school security standards for inclusion as a final eligible cost in all school facilities projects.

The bill appropriates $3,000,000 from the General Fund to the Department of Education to implement the pilot program.