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September 29, 2010

RE: I. Governor Unveils New Education Reforms
      II. Assembly Committee Advances Some Mandates Relief Measures

Dear Mayor:

I.  Governor Unveils New Education Reforms

Yesterday, in Old Bridge, at another Town Hall meeting, Governor Christie unveiled his proposals for new education reforms. Governor Christie is proposing reforms to reward innovative and effective teaching, expand opportunities for New Jersey’s best teachers, and put student achievement at the center of educator evaluations. Governor Christie is challenging the education establishment with reforms to:

  • Promote Innovative and Effective Teaching by Valuing Student Achievement Over Seniority.
  • Demand Accountability and Results for New Jersey’s Children with Data-Supported Evaluations.
  • Expand Opportunities for Great Teachers to Succeed.
  • Ensure Our Children Have Well-Prepared Teachers.

The Governor’s reforms will also work to:

  • Engage Families in Their Children’s Education with Improved Access to Information.
  • Improve Outreach and Communications Efforts to Parents and Families.

A Fact Sheet, with more information on the proposed reforms, can be accessed at Further, by Executive Order, the Governor has created a New Jersey Educator Effectiveness Task Force for School and District-level education professionals. You can access Executive Order Number 42 at

II. Assembly Committee Advances Some Mandates Relief Measures

On Monday, in Trenton, Assemblyman John McKeon’s Environment and Solid Waste Committee, which has been charged by Speaker Oliver to lead Assembly Mandates Relief efforts, voted to release bills that will provide a measure of relief from some unfunded mandates.
A-3268 would make it clear that the implementation of a Municipal Court security plan shall be at the discretion of the municipal governing body.

A-3270 amends the Open Public Records Act to allow a custodian of public records to require a 50 percent or other deposit when a request for reproducing such records exceeds $15. The bill also codifies a final decision of the Government Records Council, which held that a custodian is not required to release records until payment is received.

A-3272 modifies the Municipal Land Use Law to provide that municipalities need to complete the reexamination of the municipal master plan only every ten years. The legislation would also provide a procedure for built-out municipalities to waive the general reexamination process.

The Committee also released A-3204, which would allow certain local government groups to file challenges against unfunded state mandates with the State’s Council on Local Mandates.

We commend the Assembly, and especially the members of the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee for taking the lead in advancing mandates relief proposals. We hope that these bills represent the first steps on the long road to property tax relief through unfunded mandates relief.

We will keep you posted on further developments.

Very truly yours,


William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director


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