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13 N.J.A.R. 1

McCarroll, Walter J. v. Bd. of Ed. of Jersey City
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Citation: 13 N.J.A.R. 1
Decision Date: 1989
Agency: DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
Synopsis: By order to show cause, the Commissioner of Education directed the Board of Education of Jersey City to appear before the Office of Administrative Law to show why the State should not take over operation of the Jersey City school district, as permitted by recently enacted legislation, P.L. 1987, c. 398 (codified at N.J.$.,4. 18A:7A-14 and 7A-15). A hearing was conducted by an administrative law judge on the issue of whether takeover was justified. The administrative law judge concluded that Jersey City was not providing a thorough and efficient education, as required by law, and that the district was unable to take the necessary corrective measures on its own. The judge found various deficiencies, including failure to maintain academic standards; failure to exercise proper fiscal manage- ment; widespread political intrusion into school operations, and fail- ure to maintain appropriate facilities. Takeover by the State of the Jersey City schools was ordered. Upon review, this initial decision was adopted by the Assistant Commissioner of Education, who was deciding this matter because the Commissioner had recused himself. The Assistant Commissioner recommended that the State Board of Education issue an order direct- ing takeover of the Jersey City schools. After reviewing the record and the decisions of the administrative law judge and the Assistant Commissioner, the State Board found that takeover was imperative because of the ongoing failure of the Jersey City school district to fulfill its responsibilities. The State Board issued an administrative order directing removal of the Board of Education of Jersey City and the creation of a State-operated district. Sally Ann Fields, Deputy Attorney General; H. Edward Gabler III, Deputy Attorney General; Timothy J. Rice, Deputy Attorney Gen- eral; Vincent J. Rizzo, Jr., Deputy Attorney General; and Marlene Zuberman, Deputy Attorney General, for petitioner (Peter N. Per- retti, Jr., Attorney General of New Jersey, attorney) David H. Pikus, Esq., member of the New Jersey Bar, and Helene M. Freeman, Esq., member of the New York Bar, admitted pro hac vice for respondent (Shea & Gould, attorneys). Attorney of Record: William A. Massa, Esq. (Law Department, Board of Education of Jersey City, NULL, NULL, NULL); Michael S. Rubin, Esq., of counsel.