New Jersey Schools Development Authority
|Headquarters||32 East Front Street, Trenton, NJ 08625|
The New Jersey Schools Development Authority (NJSDA or SDA) is a public agency in the U.S. state of New Jersey that is responsible for implementing an overhaul of the educational infrastructure of hundreds of schools in districts throughout all 21 counties of the State of New Jersey. It is an independent authority in but not of the Department of the Treasury.
The legislation allocated $2.9 billion for 31 special-needs districts, known as SDA Districts and previously called Abbott districts. The Authority fully funds and manages new construction and modernization of school facilities projects in SDA Districts. Other SDA projects for which the Authority is responsible are renovations and repairs deemed emergent by the New Jersey Department of Education due to potential health and safety reason.
The legislation also allocated $1 billion to leverage construction in New Jersey's Regular Operating Districts (RODS) and includes $50 million for vocational schools. The SDA administers grants, with a minimum state share of 40 percent of eligible project costs to RODs, which manage their own projects.
The SDA is governed by an 11-member Board of Directors who are nominated by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate.
Marc Larkins serves as head of the Schools Development Authority, having assumed the position as of February 26, 2010, when he succeeded Kris Kolluri.
Schools Construction Corporation
The SCC was created on July 18, 2000 when the New Jersey Educational Facilities Construction and Financing Act was signed into law. The law created a program for financing, design, renovation, repair and new construction of primary and secondary schools in New Jersey. The law significantly changed the level of State aid for public school construction. Previously, school districts received State aid for construction debt at the same percentage as their State aid for operating costs, making almost half of the State's school districts ineligible for any construction aid. The new law guaranteed construction aid for every school district in New Jersey. The minimum level of aid was 40%, and Abbott Districts received 100% of eligible costs. Cost overruns and charges of corruption led to criticism of the SCC. Delays and added costs led to unfinished buildings and the lack of funds to complete existing and planned projects.
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