BILL TO CREATE TRANSPARENCY IN SCHOOL GIFTS INTRODUCED

A state senator announced proposed legislation on Monday which would create a level of transparency and accountability when it comes to private donations to public education in the Garden State.

Senator Ronald Rice’s bill would create a fund within the State Department of Education – the “Private Investment in Public Education Fund” – which would serve as a depository for all funds privately donated to school districts that are under partial or full State intervention. Any interest and investment earnings on monies in the fund would also be contained within the fund.

Under the bill, when a school district under full or partial State control receives a donation from a private person or business entity, the district would be required to forward the donation to the Commissioner of Education for deposit into the fund. The school district would be required to post on their Web site the name of the donor, and the intended purpose of the donation. In order to withdraw the funds from the Department of Education account, the superintendent of schools for the district, with the approval of the district board of education, would have to apply to the Commissioner of Education for withdrawal.

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