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2 N.J.A.R. 1

Upper Freehold Regional School District, Monmouth County, In the Matter of the Application of the Board of Education of
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Citation: 2 N.J.A.R. 1
Decision Date: 1979
Agency: DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
Synopsis: After the voters defeated a referendum proposal for the issuance of bonds to rebuild the roof of Allentown High School, the local Board of Education petitioned the Commissioner of Education to make funds available to replace the roof and to construct an addition to the school. Funds for the school addition were later eliminated from the request. The administrative law judge found that remedial action was necessary to restore the roof to a safe condition and determined that, absent a showing of bad faith, arbitrariness or violation of law, the architectural plan adopted by the board from competing plans should be utilized. Additionally, the administrative law judge found that although the Commissioner of Education had never previously authorized the issuance of bonds for building construction or renovation, and that although no statute specifically authorized the Commissioner to approve a bond issue rejected by the voters, the Commissioner was not without power to do so. The broad powers conferred by the Legislature on the Commissioner and the duty of the Commissioner to provide for a 'thorough and efficient shcool system,' justify a Commissioner's order to take corrective action. Accordingly, the issuance of school district bonds in the amount of $1,643,000 was authorized to replace the school roof. Peter Kalac, Esq., for the Board of Education John I. Dawes, Esq., for the Municipal Governing Bodies of Upper Freehold Township and the Borough of Allentown (Dawes, Gross and Youssouf, Attorneys)