ASSEMBLY EDUCATION COMMITTEE
ASSEMBLY, No. 3348
with committee amendments
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
DATED: MARCH 3, 2016
The Assembly Education Committee reports favorably Assembly Bill No. 3348 with committee amendments.
As amended, this bill implements recommendation #36 in regard to the architectural design for new school construction, and recommendation #37 in regard to the hardening of school perimeters and building entryways, of the July 2015 report of the New Jersey School Security Task Force.
The bill provides that in the case of new school construction undertaken by a school district or the New Jersey Schools Development Authority, in addition to the Best Practices Standards for Schools Under Construction or Being Planned for Construction set forth by the Department of Community Affairs, the district or authority, as applicable, must provide for certain school security construction standards in the architectural design for the new construction. These school construction standards include among others, standards in regard to the selection of a building site with adequate space to accommodate bus and vehicular traffic separately, separate vehicular drop-off/pick-up areas, marked school entrances with a uniform numbering system, keyless locking mechanisms, access control systems which allow for remote locking and unlocking, sufficient space for evacuation in the event of an emergency, and areas in the school building intended for public use separated and secure from all other areas.
The bill also provides that in the case of new school construction undertaken by a school district or the development authority, and in the case of existing school buildings, the district or the authority, as applicable, in addition to employing Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design principles, must employ certain school security standards. These standards include among others, that school security personnel be in uniform, the number of doors for access by school staff be limited, exterior doors remain locked, secure vestibules at the school’s main entrance be created, surveillance cameras be used as a target-hardening tool, and a strict key distribution protocol be developed.
The committee amended the bill to authorize the commissioner, in consultation with the New Jersey Schools Development Authority, to revise the construction and school security standards established under the bill in order to reflect new recommendations or changes in best practices for school security.