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Norcross Critical of Schools Development Authority

 N.J. Senator Donald Norcross (D-5), who serves as chairman of the Schools Construction Committee within the Legislature's Joint Committee on the Public Schools, released the following statement regarding a report by the New Jersey State Auditor on the Schools Development Authority (SDA).

  The findings concluded that the authority may be advancing lower priority projects that support standardization at the expense of educationally critical projects around the state, including the proposed new middle school in Gloucester City.

  The senator’s statement is as follows:

  "Today's report by the State Auditor is further confirmation that the SDA is not focusing en-ough on the needs of New Jersey's students. While I understand the need for efficiency, it cannot be the overriding factor in deciding which school projects should advance.

  “Under this model, students who are in dire need of a new facility are now being asked to wait while the needs of other children are being addressed – based largely on the fact that their project fits into the state's 'cookie-cutter' approach to school construction.

  "An example of this can be found in Gloucester City's proposal for a new middle school, which the Department of Education recognized as having a higher educational need than two of the projects that eventually were included in the SDA's plan.

  “Evidently that project did not advance because, as the Auditor's report concludes, 'educational need may not have been sufficiently considered.' Our students are essentially being told that the state's need for standard designs is more important than their education. This is unacceptable."

 

 


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