The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) and the Department of Law and Public Safety are currently revising the Memorandum of Agreement Between Education and Law Enforcement (MOA) for the 2017-2018 school year in an effort to more clearly communicate for school officials the distinction between mandatory and voluntary referrals to law enforcement. The current order of the MOA sections will also be reorganized for easier reference.

NJDOE suggests districts postpone any plans to conduct the 2017-2018 annual review of the MOA until the revised MOA is released. The department expects that the revised MOA will be available by November 2017.

What is the MOA? Every school district and its local law enforcement agency are required to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement outlining the responsibilities of school officials, police and emergency responders during security threats and other crises. The MOA also addresses the role of law enforcement and the intersection of school disciplinary policies and the code of conduct with the Code of Juvenile Justice.

Additional Clarification In a July 25 letter sent to superintendents and charter school and Renaissance school lead persons, NJDOE did issue additional clarification. The clarification states that school employees must notify the school principal and chief school administrator if they have reason to believe a bias-related act has been committed or is about to be committed – on or off school grounds, and during both school hours and out-of-school hours. School administrators should notify the local police department. The July 25 letter, which includes the full text of the clarification, is available here.

Until the revised MOA is available, schools should continue to use their signed MOA from the 2016-2017 school year, with the clarification referenced above. Any schools that have already completed the annual 2017-2018 MOA review will need to complete the process again for the revised MOA.

Questions should be addressed to [email protected].