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Holzapfel, McGuckin & Catalano Call for 10% Cap on School Funding Increases

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Legislators’ plan would offset severe losses at Brick and Toms River School Districts

Toms River and Brick Township schools took another hit from Governor Murphy and the controversial bill, S-2, which redirects State funding from many suburban districts to schools in urban areas of the state. Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano (all R-10) are calling on the Governor to implement a 10% cap on increases in state aid for school districts this year. The money saved would be used to offset losses to the over 200 districts that lost funding. Any remaining funding from this 10% cap would be used to help small businesses struggling due to the impact of COVID-19.

Sen. Jim Holzapfel, Asm. Greg McGuckin, and Asm. John Catalano are calling on Gov. Murphy to implement a 10% cap on increases in state aid for school districts this year.  (Pixabay)

“Any funding increase over 10% to other districts is unfair to school districts like Toms River Regional and Brick Township that have been fighting for years to maintain a quality education while their funding continues to be slashed, year after year,” said Senator Holzapfel. “The current funding formula continues to drive property taxes higher for our residents, which would be especially harmful this year with so many people out of work.”

Recently, Governor Murphy posed for photos with school officials at Fair Lawn Public Schools to announce his plan which included a 52.3 percent increase in aid for the district. The legislators feel this is another example of the inadequate funding formula that the Governor has set in place under S2.

“Let’s compare Fair Lawn to Brick and Toms River Township,” said Assemblyman McGuckin. “The median household income for Fair Lawn is over $120,000 compared to Brick at $78,288 and Toms River at $79,607. Last year, Brick and Toms River were labeled as ‘rich’ and in turn, this severely impacted the calculations made by the funding formula. But this data proves that even ‘rich’ townships can receive an increase in funding while middle class school districts have their funding slashed without any plausible explanation.”

“Maybe Governor Murphy should drive down to Brick or Toms River and come face to face with the students, parents and faculty that he has decided are losers,” continued McGuckin. “Let’s have him explain it to the hundreds of students he continues to rob each year of a properly funded education.”

Toms River Regional School District is facing a 14% decrease in funding for FY 2022 while Brick Township is set to lose nearly 20% of its funding. This is another blow to the school districts that have already had to laid-off staff and dissolved extracurricular programs.

“As if the fear of working during a pandemic isn’t challenging enough, now teachers have to worry about job security?” questioned Assemblyman Catalano. “How much more can these teachers withstand? We are demanding a cap be set in place to offset these inadequacies because without it, the funding formula will bleed Toms River and Brick dry.”

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The 10th District Team

Jim Holzapfel

Senator - District 10

Greg McGuckin

Assemblyman - District 10

John Catalano

Assemblyman - District 10

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