General Assembly Advances Bill to Aid School Districts Impacted by State Aid Reductions

School districts facing aid reductions in the proposed Fiscal Year 2025 budget would have the opportunity to apply for increased funding under legislation approved by the New Jersey General Assembly today. Bill A4161 would provide grants to eligible districts in order to prevent teacher layoffs and cuts to crucial programs.

The bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Roy Freiman and Assemblywomen Mitchelle Drulis, Pamela Lampitt, and Andrea Katz would create a one-time Stabilized School Budget Aid Grant Program within the New Jersey Department of Education and appropriate $71.4 million for the program. Under the bill, the Commissioner of Education would provide an aid grant to an eligible school district that applies to the program after verifying that the school district is subject to an aid reduction in the 2024-2025 school year.

The legislation comes at a key time, as school districts are already submitting tentative budgets to the Department of Education. Finalized budgets must be submitted by May.

Under this bill, eligible school districts that saw a reduction in their 2024-2025 State school aid could receive up to two-thirds of the reduced amount. In order to receive the aid, the school district must not reduce the total number of employees compared to the pre-budget year if student enrollment is expected to remain steady.

The legislation also gives options and flexibility to school districts to determine, in certain situations, how they want to further close the financial gap.

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