School Board May Urge Lawmakers To Amend Bill Shifting Personnel Decisions To Principals
The Fort Lee BOE meets Monday at 8 p.m. The agenda includes a resolution supporting an amendment to a Senate bill giving principals authority over personnel decisions.
The Fort Lee Board of Education is set to vote on a resolution at its regular business meeting Monday supporting an amendment to the “Teacher Effectiveness and Accountability for the Children of New Jersey (TEACHNJ) Act” to leave personnel decisions up to the superintendent of schools and the school board.
Senate Bill 1455, sponsored by Assistant Senate Majority Leader Sen. M. Teresa Ruiz (D-29), would give school principals and “school improvement panels” authority to hire or fire instructional staff, among other decisions regarding personnel.
According to the legislation, such a panel would be made up of the principal, an assistant principal and a member of the instructional staff who is nominated by the principal and “approved by the staff.”
The proposed legislation would require "mutual consent" for a potential employee to be placed in a school; in the absence of that, the proposed staff member would be put in a "priority hiring pool," but the superintendent would not be allowed to recommend people to the school board without the principal's consent.
The TEACHNJ Act would “completely remove” the school board and superintendent “from future personnel decisions,” according to the resolution the Fort Lee BOE will consider Monday.
The resolution goes on to urge lawmakers to amend the bill “to ensure that personnel hiring and placement decisions remain under the authority of the district superintendent, with the approval of the local board of education.”
“In New Jersey, the community elects a school board of education, which has a fiduciary relationship with taxpayers and which sets education policy goals,” the resolution reads in part. “The current hiring and staffing process has worked successfully in school districts throughout New Jersey for decades.”
If the BOE approves the resolution Monday, it is to be delivered to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney (D-3), Ruiz and every member of the Senate Education Committee, among others.
The regular business meeting of the Fort Lee Board of Education is Monday at 8 p.m. in the Fort Lee High School auditorium. To download the complete agenda, click here, or visit the school district’s website.