New Diploma Mill Legislation
January 7, 2010
Legislation placing new rules on the kind of course work for which school district employees can be compensated could be put to a vote next week.
Both the state Assembly and Senate are expected to hear a modified version of the measure Jan. 11, according to one of the sponsors, Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, R-Monmouth.
The legislation was inspired by the 2008 discovery that the Freehold Regional High School District superintendent, H. James Wasser, and several current and former staff members received doctoral degrees from an unaccredited university.
Two similar bills concerning this issue were combined during Monday’s voting session and reported out of the Assembly’s Education Committee.
If passed, the bill would prohibit school employees from receiving tuition assistance or compensation for either academic credits or completion of a degree unless:
The institution is an authorized institution of higher education;
The employee obtains approval from the schools superintendent before enrolling in a course. Superintendents must get their blessing from the board of education;
The course or degree is related to the employee’s current or future job responsibilities.
Casagrande said she plans to introduce legislation during the next legislative session that would expand these rules to all public employees.
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