Senate Passes Kyrillos, Bateman Bill Creating School District Regionalization Task Force
The New Jersey Senate unanimously voted to approve legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman and Senator Joe Kyrillos to establish a task force to identify the issues and benefits of school district regionalization.
“In a state where there are more school districts than municipalities, regionalization has enormous potential to bolster educational programs and reduce New Jersey’s nation-high property tax burden,” Senator Bateman (R-16) said. “Exploring solutions to create efficient, sustainable school systems will help us understand how we can best serve the growing needs of our students and communities.”
Senator Bateman’s bill, S-177, establishes a 16-member Task Force on School District Regionalization. The task force, which must issue a report to the governor and legislature on its findings, will:
-Review existing research, studies, and data concerning the regionalization of school districts;
-Identify challenges associated with the regionalization of school districts including financing of feasibility studies, issues associated with school district governance and financing, and the integration of curriculum, programs and staff;
-Identify and review benefits of regionalization including potential cost savings and the ability to offer a wider array of educational programs, services and extracurricular activities;
-Identify incentives to encourage school districts to regionalize as well as obstacles that discourage school districts from entering into regional school district arrangements.
“More than half of New Jersey’s property tax dollars go to funding the state’s 600 school districts, including the more than 100 districts that contain only one school,” Senator Kyrillos (R-13) said. “Identifying the challenges and benefits of consolidating school districts brings us one step closer to providing much-needed relief for hardworking taxpayers across the Garden State.”