On the same day many teachers across the Diocese were welcoming students to the start of a new school year, Gov. Chris Christie signed into law the “Secure Schools for All Children Act,” which establishes a state aid program for security services, equipment and technology to ensure a safe and secure school environment for nonpublic school students.

Under the provisions of the law, the superintendent of schools of each school district in which a nonpublic school is located will confer annually with the chief school administrator of the nonpublic school. The two must agree upon the security services, equipment or technology that will be provided to the students of the nonpublic school within the limits of available funds. If the two are unable to reach an agreement, the executive county superintendent will make the final determination.

When Gov. Christie signs Executive Order 209 funding for the 2016-17 school year will be released, providing $50 per non-public school student in this current school year. Going forward, the maximum amount or state support limit that may be appropriated for the purposes of the bill is up to $75. The amount will be determined by the Governor’s budget.

Each year, the school district will forward to the Commissioner of Education an estimate of the cost of providing, during the next school year, the security services, equipment, or technology required pursuant to the bill and the number for students attending the nonpublic schools located within the district as of the last school day of October of the current school year.

The commissioner will provide state aid to the district in an amount equal to the number of nonpublic school students multiplied by the state support limit.