New Legislation Will Undo Massive School Aid Cuts to Jackson, Toms River and Beyond

Governor Phil Murphy today announced a bill in partnership with the Legislature to offer additional funding to school districts that will see a reduction in school aid from the State in the Fiscal Year 2024 budget as a result of the S-2 funding formula. The legislation – sponsored by Senator Vin Gopal, Senator Andrew Zwicker, and Assemblyman Roy Freiman – will make over $100 million available to eligible districts.

The bill (S-3732) allows school districts that will see a reduction in school aid in the Fiscal Year 2024 budget to request an additional amount of aid equal to 66 percent of the difference between the amount they received in the 2022-2023 school year and the amount of aid currently proposed for the 2023-2024 school year. All eligible districts that submit a request to the Commissioner of Education will receive this additional funding, and must include a written plan indicating how they intend to fund operations in future years when this aid is no longer available.

“My Administration remains committed to providing New Jersey students with a world-class education, which is why we continue to dedicate historic levels of aid for our schools in each year’s budget,” said Governor Murphy. “As we work towards ensuring equitable access to the high-quality education every student deserves, this supplemental funding will support districts in adjusting to changes in aid under our state’s school funding formula. I thank our legislative partners for their collaboration in reaching this agreement on behalf of educators, students, and their communities in the upcoming school year.”

“I thank Governor Murphy for being consistently responsive to situations of each New Jersey local educational agency,” said Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan, Acting Commissioner of Education. “As we continue to navigate the impact of our school funding structure, and in light of unique circumstances, the over $100 million in supplemental funding will provide an additional layer of stability this year, and continues to demonstrate the administration’s responsiveness to every New Jersey student.”

“Our schools have come under tremendous pressures over the past three years due to the pandemic, ranging from uncertainty about resources, learning recovery and a growing teacher shortage. Now is not the time for more uncertainty, nor the time for districts to be asked to do with less at the precise moment they are trying to recover some sense of normalcy,” said Senator Gopal. “This restoration of funding will ease some of those pressures, smooth out remaining transitions, and help districts set course on a bolder, brighter future.”

“As we continue to increase funding for New Jersey’s outstanding public schools, unfortunately, some districts saw a reduction in State aid,” said Senator Zwicker. “These cuts would have been devastating to our schools, and I am grateful that we were able to come up with a solution to ensure the quality of education of all New Jersey students is not compromised.”“There is nothing more important to invest in than our children’s future. The families who live in New Jersey deserve the best public schools in the country, and with this investment, we will continue that commitment to the people who live here. After all of the disruption to learning through the pandemic, the last thing we need is for families to worry about teachers being laid off or services being cut,” said Assemblyman Freiman. “While in office, I have fought for sound, responsible budget policies, and they’re paying off—we now have the ability to deliver quality services to New Jersey families and focus on lowering property taxes. This legislation represents that commitment, and I am proud to sponsor it.”

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  1. Amidst all the Legislative cheering and patting each other on the back for a job well done, take note that the proposed bill leaves a lot to be desired.

    Under the proposed bill, districts who request additional funding “must include a written plan indicating how they intend to fund operations in future years when this aid is no longer available.”

    This undermines the entire awesomeness of the legislation as districts who need this additional funding due to a reduction in school aid will also need additional funding once this “extra funding” is no longer available.

    Ergo, they will not be to indicate “how they intend to fund operations in future years when this aid is no longer available.”


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