The Orthodox Union (OU) applauds Governor Chris Christie for recently signing the Joint Purchasing Bill (A-3398/S-3089) into law. The bill, which allows non-public schools to participate in joint purchasing agreements entered into by two or more school districts, was the idea of Assemblywomen Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-37 Bergen) and Amy Handlin (R-13 Monmouth) and Senator Robert Gordon (D-38 Bergen).
Sponsored by a bipartisan group of 15 legislators, including Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-36 Passaic) and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-37 Bergen), this bill sets a precedent of bipartisan support for equal opportunity for non-public schools and their students, as well as the taxpaying parents who selected schools that best suit their children’s educational needs.
“Joint purchasing agreements help school districts save money and redirect financial resources,” said Assemblywoman Huttle. “This legislation will enhance this by allowing private schools to join with public schools in the same district.”
“Leveraging the purchasing power of non-public schools in a joint purchasing agreement benefits students, schools, and taxpayers,” said Assemblywoman Handlin. “There is a broad-based consensus that we must examine ways to reduce expenses and take advantage of efficiencies at all levels of government. Including non-public schools in shared purchasing agreements enhances the ability of school districts to negotiate a better deal and lower their procurement costs.”