Senator Kip Bateman (R-16) and Mayor Richard Onderko released the following statement highlighting that Manville, one of the most underfunded school districts in New Jersey, will receive an additional $3,280,647 state aid in the coming year, representing a 54.2 percent increase over FY-2018 state aid.
Sen. Kip Bateman and Mayor Onderko highlight that Manville, one of the most underfunded school districts in New Jersey, will receive an additional $3,280,647 state aid in the coming year, representing a 54.2 percent increase over FY-2018 state aid. (©iStock)
“Manville has suffered a number of hardships that have made the impact of flat state aid even worse, such as damage from Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy. Homes were abandoned, the cost of flood insurance went up, and the poverty rate has gone through the roof. Yet, through all of this, we haven’t seen an extra penny in state aid until now. When the state doesn’t adequately fund our schools, property taxpayers are forced to make up the difference,” Senator Bateman said. “I am very glad that we, as a community of parents, school officials, and local leaders, came together to fight for full funding. Thank you for standing up. It was the right thing to do.”
“Manville has long been the “forgotten town” when it comes to lowering storm water levels that impact our serious flooding problems. Today, however, we are no longer the “forgotten town” when it comes to school funding,” Mayor Richard Onderko said. “Manville received the largest percentage increase in Somerset County and rightfully so. This is great news. Increased school funding will help stabilize property taxes over the next 5 years and will provide a higher quality education for Manville students. This school funding fix was long overdue and very much appreciated in Manville. A big thank you to all our legislators in Trenton.”
The new school funding changes passed by the Legislature during the budget process this week would also establish a pathway to full funding for all school districts, including Manville. When the legislation (S-2) is fully implemented in the coming years, Manville will be fully-funded and have received an additional $10,040,498 in state aid, which represents a 165.8 percent increase over what the district received in FY-2018 state aid.
Manville is the eighth most underfunded school district in the state, according to reports by MyCentralJersey.com. Over the last several years, state aid has remained flat, despite the fact that enrollment in the district has skyrocketed and an increasing number of students in Manville require special services, such as English as a Second Language. 49 percent of Manville students require free or reduced cost lunches. The district has had to lay off teachers and cut programs, just to make ends meet.
Senator Bateman proudly cast a vote in favor of the school funding changes under S-2. He has spent years partnering with local and school officials to try and secure fair and adequate state aid for students and taxpayers in Manville, and underfunded districts statewide.
“Access to public education is a basic human right,” Senator Bateman said. “A child should never have to pay the price for the state’s inability to meet their needs. Fully-funding our schools is not a waste of taxpayer money – it’s a fair and appropriate investment in the very people who will shape our future. Because of this new law, kids and taxpayers in Manville, and underfunded districts throughout New Jersey, will finally get the dollars they deserve.”
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