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Gov. Murphy announces legislation to support districts seeing reductions in school aid in FY24 budget

NEW JERSEY – Governor Phil Murphy last week 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.

“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,” Murphy said. “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,” Gopal said. “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,” Zwicker said. “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,” Freiman said. “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.”

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.

Senate Republican Leader Steven Oroho (R-24) issued the following statement in response to legislation that would partially restore school funding that’s being cut in Governor Phil Murphy’s FY 2024 State Budget proposal:

“Senate Republicans continue to believe that there is no reason for the Murphy administration to cut funding to any school district when the state has a massive $10 billion budget surplus. We support the partial restoration of funding that has been proposed but remain concerned that it is a one-year solution to a long-term problem. Unless we change the school funding formula permanently, school districts will lose the temporarily restored money next year and face even deeper cuts in state aid. We need a school funding solution that looks further than Election Day this year.”

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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