Hundreds of requests for emergency health and safety repair projects in New Jersey's urban schools have gone unanswered under Gov. Chris Christie's administration. And Education Law Center is demanding an explanation.
ELC has issued a sharp letter to the NJ Department of Education asking why hundreds of emergency projects submitted in June 2011 from districts across the state have languished unapproved by the School Development Authority. The proposals include projects such as fixing leaking roofs, fire alarm systems, collapsed ceilings, and even water filtration systems. Out of over 700 initial proposals submitted in June, 400 hundred have been rejected without explanation. As for the remaining projects still supposedly on the table, the SDA and DOE have not officially identified them as emergency projects and so work has not even begun.
"These emergency conditions impact the health, safety and well-being of thousands of students, teachers and other staff every day,” said David Sciarra, ELC Executive Director. “By failing to promptly correct these conditions, the DOE and SDA have put thousands of children, young people and adults in harms’ way. The lack of action by the State is inexcusable. It is time for our Legislators, especially those representing urban school districts, to insist that Governor Christie, the SDA and DOE do what they are legally bound to do to keep our state’s most vulnerable schoolchildren from being trapped in crumbling, outmoded and dangerous classrooms and buildings."