Action Provides Financial Oversight and Transition Task Force for Unaccredited District
The State Board of Education on Tuesday approved a recommendation from the Department to impose financial oversight over the Normandy School District effective immediately. All expenditures, contracts, financial obligations and any other action with fiscal implications must be approved by the Department beginning immediately and through the remainder of the year. This oversight will ensure that any and all monies appropriated through the legislature are monitored and expended judiciously, and that any and all measures necessary to ensure the completion of the year are taken.
“Most importantly, we want Normandy students and their parents to know the students will be able to complete the school year in their current location,” said Commissioner of Education Chris Nicastro. “Seniors who meet state and local requirements for graduation will receive their diplomas from Normandy as scheduled.”
The Board also directed the Commissioner to appoint a Transition Task Force immediately to develop a detailed plan for the operation of the Normandy Schools starting in July 2014, if the legislature fails to appropriate additional funds for the district and if the district lapses.
The Task Force will include representatives of the Normandy School District and members of the extended community including parents, local officials, existing partners and others. The Task Force would develop a transition plan, recruit and identify high-quality teachers and leaders, and advise the Department on other operational issues during the transition, if it becomes necessary.
In September 2012, the State Board classified the Normandy School District as unaccredited effective January 1, 2013. Since that time, the Supreme Court has upheld the rights of students to transfer to accredited districts. Under the current transfer law, which requires unaccredited districts to pay transportation costs for transfer students, the Department has determined the Normandy School District will not be able to survive financially through another school year.