News Department

Gov. Murphy signs legislation providing support to school districts seeing reductions in school funding aid

NEW JERSEY – Governor Phil Murphy Tuesday signed two bills offering flexibility and relief to school districts across New Jersey as they work to finalize their 2024-2025 school budgets.

The first bill (A4161) aims to increase funding for school districts experiencing reductions in aid under S2, easing the impact of the final year of its seven-year phase-in as school districts adjust to funding levels calculated under the School Funding Reform Act.

By signing the legislation, the Governor establishes a Stabilized School Budget Aid Grant Program in the Department of Education to provide grants equal to 45 percent of a school district’s State school aid reduction for the 2024-2025 school year. The bill appropriates $44.7 million to support the program. In addition to providing supplementary state aid, the legislation allows certain districts experiencing reductions in state aid to request increases in their adjusted property tax levies above the two percent cap established under current law.

“From the onset of my Administration, we have strived to ensure every child in New Jersey receives the top-notch education that has become synonymous with our state’s public education system. Through seven budget cycles, we have never wavered on our commitment to our school communities – and that rings true today,” Murphy said. “With this legislation, we are giving local school districts critical support during trying times, as difficult financial realities muddy the already complex process of adopting a balanced budget. I am pleased to provide relief to school districts facing reductions in aid and, as we look ahead, I anticipate working alongside Commissioner Dehmer to ensure our tax dollars are being used responsibly to uplift all of our students.”

“The combination of additional state aid and school district tax levy growth cap flexibility achieved by this legislation strikes a key balance: easing the transition to full funding amounts while further empowering school districts to sustain education and support programs beyond S2’s phase-in schedule,” said Kevin Dehmer, Acting Commissioner of Education. “For our part, the Department is committed to working with districts on finalizing their budget plans for next school year; for their part, this legislation provides districts additional revenue sources to further help transition to sustainable spending plans that meet the needs of all students. I commend the Governor and the Legislature for their commitment to this impactful legislation.”

Sponsors of A4161 include Senators Andrew Zwicker and Vin Gopal and Assembly members Roy Freiman, Mitchelle Drulis, Pamela Lampitt and Andrea Katz.

In his signing statement for A4161, the Governor directs the Commissioner of Education to conduct a comprehensive review assessing the responsible utilization of the additional funding by school districts. To view the signing statement for A4161, click here

The second bill (A4059) authorizes the Commissioner of Education to permit certain school districts experiencing a reduction in state aid to submit budgets no later than five days following the enactment of the FY2025 appropriations act.

Sponsors of A4059 include Senator James Beach and Assembly members Pamela Lampitt, Sterley Stanley and Andrea Katz.

A signing statement on A4059 clarifies that state aid notices were distributed to school districts in February 2024, rather than March 2024. To view the signing statement for A4059, click here.

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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