On Friday NJ’s Council on Local Mandates ruled that our new Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying legislation is, at least in part, an unfunded mandate. Under New Jersey law those sections which require district expenditures are nullified.
NJ Spotlight cites bill sponsor Valerie Huttle, who said that she wants to find funding for the bill rather than rewrite it. The original bill’s language mandated that school districts spend no money implementing the legislation, an impossible feat given the need for school-wide training, additional staff time, paperwork, etc. Allamuchy Township, which brought suit against the State, estimated its costs at $20,000. According to Spotlight, “extrapolating Allamuchy’s staffing costs comes to $10 million to $15 million, but a staff analysis by the nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services a year ago said it could not put a price tag on the law, since each district would handle the responsibilities differently.”