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New Jersey Nonpublic Technology Initiative Program
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GUIDELINES FOR ADMINISTERING
THE NEW JERSEY NONPUBLIC
TECHNOLOGY INITIATIVE PROGRAM
 
David C. Hespe
Acting Commissioner of Education
 
David Corso
Assistant Commissioner
Division of Administration and Finance
 
 Evo Popoff
Assistant Commissioner, Chief Innovation Officer
Division of Innovation

Laurence Cocco
Yut'se O. Thomas
Department of Education Staff
 
New Jersey Department of Education
Division of Finance
100 River View Plaza
P. O. Box 500
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0500

June 2014

TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
PART

  1. THE NEW JERSEY NONPUBLIC TECHNOLOGY INITIATIVE PROGRAM
  2. STATE AID
  3. RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT
  4. INDIVIDUAL SCHOOL APPLICATION PROCESS
  5. PURCHASE OF EQUIPMENT
  6. OWNERSHIP AND STORAGE OF EQUIPMENT
  7. FEES AND CHARGES
  8. ACCOUNTING AT LOCAL DISTRICT LEVEL
  9. PROJECT COMPLETION REPORT/NONPUBLIC TECHNOLOGY INITIATIVE
  10. FISCAL AUDIT AND RETENTION OF RECORD

1. THE NEW JERSEY NONPUBLIC TECHNOLOGY INITIATIVE PROGRAM

The New Jersey Nonpublic Technology Initiative Program is authorized by language in the Appropriations Act authorizing Nonpublic Technology Initiative Aid to be paid to school districts and allocated for nonpublic school pupils in a manner that is consistent with the provisions of the federal and state constitution.
 
The program the department has developed requires the board of education in each public school district in New Jersey to provide technology to all qualifying students attending a nonpublic school located in the public school district.  The goal of the nonpublic technology initiative program is to provide nonpublic school pupils with computers, educational software, distance learning equipment and other technologies that can improve their education by meeting their specific educational needs and to give nonpublic school teachers the skills, resources and incentives to use educational technologies effectively to improve teaching and learning in the classroom.  A public school district must provide technology to the nonpublic school and cannot provide the state aid funds to a nonpublic school.  A public school district must maintain administrative control over all funds and equipment.  A public school district must ensure that all equipment, supplies, and materials purchased with the state aid funds are used solely for the purpose of enhancing the instructional process for nonpublic school students.  The use of equipment, supplies, and materials purchased with the state aid funds for religious purposes, the administration of the nonpublic school, or other purposes contrary to law is strictly prohibited.  State aid funds must be used to meet the specific technology needs of students and teaching staff members.  State aid funds can not be used to supplant benefits normally provided by the nonpublic school.  All technology provided under this program to nonpublic school pupils must be used for secular, neutral, non-religious and non-ideological purposes.

DEFINITIONS

For the purposes of the Nonpublic School Technology Initiative Program the following words shall have the following meaning:

"Nonpublic School" means an elementary or secondary school within the State, other than a public school, offering education for grades kindergarten through 12, or any combination of them, wherein any child may legally fulfill compulsory school attendance requirements and which complies with the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
 
"Per Pupil" means for each pupil enrolled on the last school day prior to October 16 of the preceding school year.
 
"Pupil" means any child who is a resident of the State and who is enrolled as a full-time student in a nonpublic school in grades kindergarten through twelve.  Kindergarten pupils must be enrolled in a program that meets at least two and one-half hours per day. 

Kindergarten students must have met the following criteria:

  • Been enrolled as of the last school day prior to October 16 of the previous school year as recorded on the Nonpublic School Enrollment Report.
  • Been enrolled in an educational program that met at least 180 days
  • Meet the age requirements for attending Kindergarten at the local public school where the nonpublic school is located.

A child who boards at a school but whose parents do not maintain a residence in the State shall not be deemed a resident of the State for the purposes of this program.

"Technology" means using the tools of educational technology (equipment, software, professional development, etc.) to extend and enhance the instructional process for nonpublic school students.  Allowable nonpublic school technology initiative program expenditures include the following:

1. Equipment/Supplies (hardware):
Computers: multimedia, tablets, hand-held devices, server computers for shared files, electronic mail and world wide web communication;

Digital and video cameras, GPS – for curriculum areas;

Graphing calculators, scientific probes, data loggers & electronic response systems;

Projection devices and other peripheral equipment shared by computer systems (microscopes);

Data communications systems: local area networks (including multiple connects for every classroom);

Wide area network: high-speed network links that connect schools together, high-speed Internet connection serving more than one school;

Satellite dish;

Electronic whiteboards (full size and portable);

Recharging carts and batteries for wireless laptops that were purchased with Nonpublic School Technology Funds; and

Memory cards and wireless cards.
 

2. Software:

Programs used as applications in instructional programs.  Software with a religious theme or content is prohibited;

Upgrade of operating system software;

Online programming and subscriptions;

Barcoding software and apps for instructional purposes (not library cataloging); and

e-Books (not textbooks).

3. Professional Development: training that develops and enhances teachers' technology skills for instructional purposes so that teachers effectively use technology with their curriculum. It is recommended that, for every dollar spent on equipment, at least thirty cents be spent on professional development.

Professional development training may be provided to nonpublic school teachers on-site in a nonpublic school;

Online training and professional development with no religious content (must be completed by the end of the funding year); and

Workshops and conferences focused on integrating technology into instruction (registration fees).
 
Note: All professional development must occur within the funding timeline (July 1st- June 30th).. For example, professional development for the 2014-2015 school year must take place between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015

4. Maintenance:

Contracts or per diem support to make sure equipment purchased and loaned to a nonpublic school by a board of education (through this initiative) is maintained and remains usable.

5. Miscellaneous:

New leases and continuation of previous leases under this program;

Data communications systems: local area networks, including multiple connects for every classroom (network cards, internal wiring, wireless cards);

Wireless and wide area network: high-speed network links that connect schools together, high-speed Internet connections serving more than one school, (routers, hubs, switches);

Wiring can be placed in existing raceways and conduits. The contractor must ensure that the materials are used only for the purposes of the program and can be removed from the nonpublic school without remodeling the nonpublic school facility;

Environmentally safe disposal of old equipment from this program.; and

Insurance for any purchases, if desired.

Lists of allowable and non-allowable expenditures are posted to the department's web site at http://www.nj.gov/education/techno/npallowable.htm and updated as needed.

2. STATE AID

a. The State aid provided to the public school district for each participating nonpublic school in the district will be an amount equal to the product of the rate per pupil authorized in the language of the Appropriations Act and the number of pupils on roll in the nonpublic school as of the last school day prior to October 16 of the previous school year as recorded on the Nonpublic School Enrollment Report.

b. Actual expenditures applied against the state aid received for technology may include only expenditures related to providing those items defined as technology on pages four through six of these guidelines or as determined by the Office of Educational Technology.  State aid funds may not be expended for items relating to the construction of nonpublic school facilities or for items that cannot be removed from a nonpublic school without remodeling the school.

c. Equipment/supplies must be fully-funded with the Nonpublic School Technology Initiative funds.

d. State aid will be paid in full to school districts by early August.

e. Unexpended state aid funds should be included in the project completion report.

3. RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT
 
The board of education in each public school district in New Jersey having nonpublic schools within its boundaries is responsible for providing technology to the nonpublic schools within the limits of the funds provided by this program.  Such technology may be provided directly by the board of education or by an employee of the school district in the case of professional development, by contracts with an educational service commission, or an independent contractor.  The chief school administrator or designee of the board of education of the public school district should confer with the administrator of each of the participating nonpublic schools within the district before October 1st for the following purposes:

  •  To advise the nonpublic school of the limit of funds available for the provision of technology for the full-time pupils enrolled in the nonpublic school.
  • To agree upon the technology to be provided to the nonpublic school within the limit of the funds that are available for the nonpublic school.
  • To agree on the date when the board of education will meet to approve how the technology and/or services will be provided to the nonpublic school. (The board meeting should occur and the technology approved before October 31.

 
In the event that the chief school administrator or designee and the nonpublic school administrator cannot reach agreement regarding the technology to be provided, the county superintendent shall be consulted to determine, in consultation with the Office of Educational Technology, the technology to be provided.  The decision of the county superintendent shall be final.
 
A board of education for an elementary constituent district of a regional school district or a regional school district's board of education must provide technology only for nonpublic schools having the grade levels for which the district has responsibility.
 
The technology provided to nonpublic schools must not include providing instructional services directly to nonpublic school students.
 
Equipment and supplies comparable to that used in a public school district can be purchased and used to provide the technology to nonpublic schools.  Such equipment may be loaned without charge to a nonpublic school for the purpose of providing the technology required under this program.  However, such equipment remains the property of the district board of education and must be labeled as such.
 
The funds expended by a board of education for the administrative costs related to providing technology for a participating nonpublic school must be limited to the actual cost of administering the provision of technology for the participating nonpublic school or five percent (5%) of the funds allocated for each participating nonpublic school, whichever is less.
 
Each board of education providing technology to nonpublic schools must submit the following information to the county superintendent on or before October 31 and forward a copy to the administrator(s) of the nonpublic school(s) within their district boundaries.

  •  A written statement verifying that the required conference with the nonpublic school administrator was held and verifying the timelines for services, purchases and implementation.
  •  An assurance that the public school will not reimburse the nonpublic school directly (signed by the public and nonpublic school) will be included on the agreement. All services, equipment, supplies, etc. for this program MUST be purchased by the public school.
  • A copy of the agreement between the board of education and the nonpublic school and the minutes of the board of education meeting at which the agreement was approved that describes how the technology and/or services will be provided to the nonpublic school.

If a nonpublic school declines to participate, please do not send a refund check to the department.  Any such checks that we receive will be returned to your district.  All refunds will be collected through a state aid payment deduction after you have completed the FY14 Nonpublic Project Completion Report (NPCR).

4. INDIVIDUAL SCHOOL APPLICATION PROCESS

All nonpublic schools desiring to participate in this program are required to apply each year using the Nonpublic School Enrollment Report.

If a nonpublic school chooses not to participate, the public school must retain written documentation that included the signature of the nonpublic school.

5. PURCHASE OF EQUIPMENT

a. The district board of education in which each nonpublic school is located receives funds from the State based on the number of pupils enrolled in each nonpublic school as of the last school day prior to October 16 of the previous school year.  The Nonpublic School Enrollment Report form determines the amount of State Aid that the district receives.  Equipment may be purchased and loaned to a nonpublic school for the period of time needed to provide the technology required by this program.  Equipment that may be purchased must be removable from a nonpublic school without remodeling the nonpublic school facility.  The equipment purchased must be labeled as "Property of ______________(the district board of education) and purchased with funds from the Nonpublic School Technology Initiative SY XXXX"."  Equipment may be delivered directly to the nonpublic school if the nonpublic school administrator agrees.  The nonpublic school administrator must check the invoice and forward it to the district board of education along with a statement attesting to the fact that all of the equipment has been appropriately labeled indicating the district's ownership.  After consultation with the nonpublic school administrator, equipment may also reach a nonpublic school as follows:

  • The nonpublic school may arrange to pick up the equipment.
  • The local board of education may deliver the equipment to the nonpublic school.

Public school districts are not required to purchase equipment at a total cost to the district in excess of the amounts provided by State Aid.

Equipment cannot be split-funded (funded partially with the Nonpublic School Technology Initiative and partially by another source.)

Equipment to be purchased

The equipment purchased must meet the needs of the nonpublic school and be comparable to the type of equipment that would be purchased in a public school district.  Equipment purchases must conform to the requirements of the "Public School Contracts Law."

6. OWNERSHIP AND STORAGE OF EQUIPMENT
 
a. All equipment will remain the property of the district board of education in which the nonpublic school is located and such ownership should be indicated on the equipment by labels.

b. The board of education may require that equipment be returned to the board of education at the end of the school year for storage or when the equipment is no longer required for the purposes of this program.  The benefit of this program to nonpublic school students is intended to be cumulative.  It is the expectation of the department that the technology purchased under this program will continue to benefit nonpublic school students as long as the program continues or as long as the nonpublic school participates in the program.

c. The board of education may enter into an agreement with the nonpublic school to store the equipment in the nonpublic school at the end of the school year.  In such cases, the district may not pay storage charges of any kind to the nonpublic school. Nor can the public school charge the nonpublic school for storage.

d. Only a local school district may dispose of equipment purchased for this program and the disposal may be charged to the nonpublic school technology initiative funds that were allocated to the nonpublic school.  Equipment may only be disposed of in accordance with the provisions of the "Public School Contracts Law."

e. Public Schools follow their local procurement policies regarding disposal of equipment.

7. FEES AND CHARGES
 
Equipment must be loaned without charge to a nonpublic school; no fees may be assessed in connection with the loaning of equipment to a nonpublic school.  Expenditures for the purchase of equipment may include the cost of freight for transporting the equipment from the vendor to the delivery site, the purchase of insurance and disposal fees.

8. ACCOUNTING AT LOCAL DISTRICT LEVEL
 
The district board of education in which the nonpublic school is located must maintain the Nonpublic School Technology Initiative program accounting on an encumbrance basis.  A separate general account control "Nonpublic Technology Initiative" must be maintained on the nonpublic technology initiative program activities.  The coding of all expenditures shall be recorded under "Special Revenue Funds-State Projects" account #20-510-XXX-XXX.  The only exception is that the district board of education must maintain separate costs for each nonpublic school's technology program activities.  Expenditures for the purchase of equipment may include the cost of freight or transporting such equipment from the vendor to the delivery site.  Collections for charges due to the loss, damage, or destruction of the equipment should be recorded as "Miscellaneous Revenue" and credited to the nonpublic school #20-510 account.

State aid received by the district board of education pursuant to this program must be recorded as "Special Revenue Funds-Revenue from State Sources; Restricted Entitlements" in account #20-3240-510.

9. PROJECT COMPLETION REPORT NONPUBLIC TECHNOLOGY INITIATIVE

Following the completion of fiscal operations, the district board of education in which the nonpublic school is located shall report to the State Department the total cost of the nonpublic technology provided.  Such report might include the following items:

  1. The amount approved for each nonpublic school.
  2. The total State aid received.
  3. The total of all encumbrances incurred for each nonpublic school.
  4. Outstanding unliquidated encumbrances.
  5. Nonpublic technology initiative funds on hand.

In the event that the district board of education has been paid funds in excess of the amount finally required for the program costs, the excess funds will be deducted from state aid payment in the subsequent fiscal year.  Please do not send a refund check to the department.  Any such checks that we receive will be returned to your district.  All refunds will be collected through a state aid payment deduction after you have completed the FY15 Nonpublic Project Completion Report (NPCR).

NOTE: The New Jersey Department of Education reserves the right to monitor all purchases as a result of this program at any time.
 
10. FISCAL AUDIT AND RETENTION OF RECORDS
 
The nonpublic technology initiative program expenditure records will be audited locally.  All records relating to the program must be retained for audit purposes.  The audit will be done as a regular part of the district board of education's prescribed audit procedures.  The board of education audit report will include a financial schedule or statement identifying receipts and expenditures applicable to the nonpublic school technology initiative program.