S-1459

Permits establishment of county-wide purchasing system by a county employing qualified purchasing agent and requires participation by all school districts within the county.

NJEA opposes S-1459 (Sarlo, Weinberg).  This bill requires a county that employs a qualified purchasing agent to award a single County Wide Contract for custodial services, food services, or both, to school districts within the county.  Specifically, the bill reads: “the office of the executive county superintendent and every local school district shall be required to participate in the county program.”

While NJEA supports the idea of reducing administrative expenses and improving efficiencies in schools through shared services, NJEA believes these agreements should be optional, and the local board of education should be able to withdraw to maintain the quality of programs and services tailored to their individual school or school district.

This legislation will undercut local control of programs and services, imposing a one-size-fits-all county-wide contract, negotiated by someone with no educational background, and with no opportunity for local educational oversight of the arrangement. 

In addition, while reducing costs in some districts, this bill may increase costs in other districts thus violating State-Mandate-State Pay legislation.

While NJEA agrees that districts need to seek more opportunities to share services, we believe S-1459 is seriously flawed; therefore, we ask you to vote “NO” on S-1459.

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