Urging Governor to Follow Sensible Steps to Prevent Devastating Education Funding Cuts
Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano are calling on Governor Phil Murphy to make some painless, common sense adjustments to his budget to alleviate the devastating funding cuts to many school districts.
Sen. Holzapfel and Assemblymen McGuckin and Catalano are urging the Governor to adopt their plan to avoid devastating school funding cuts to almost 200 school districts. (Pixabay)
“Schools in our legislative district are losing almost $10 million, and almost 200 school districts across the state are seeing aid cut,” said Holzapfel. “This is a desperate situation that threatens the quality of education for students in Toms River and Brick and almost one/third of the State’s school districts. There has to be a permanent solution to the flaws in the funding formula, but right now we need an immediate solution, and the Governor has the power to make things right.”
In his proposed Fiscal Year 2021 budget, Murphy designated $50 million for stabilization aid for schools, and $300 million for the State’s rainy day fund.
The 10th District Legislators are urging the Governor to prevent the cuts by combining the stabilization aid and a portion of the rainy day money.
“Almost 200 districts are facing draconian reductions totaling $158 million,” said McGuckin. “The Governor, right now, can stop the bleeding and ensure the efficient education of our State’s children and future leaders. This fix will buy time for the Governor and the Legislature to allow the fair share issue to be analyzed, and to once and for all solve the obvious and known flaws in the school aid formula.”
Under the Fiscal Year 2021 K-12 Formula Aid plan released last week by the New Jersey Department of Education, six school districts in LD 10 will have their resources decreased. Toms River Regional District will lose more than $5.3 million (8 percent) of their state aid, and Brick Township aid will drop $4.2 million (13 percent).
The $237,600 funding gap for Seaside Heights Borough Schools represents a 22.3 percent loss.
“The taxpayers and schools in Ocean County have been getting the short end of the stick for too long,” said Catalano. “Under Murphy’s budget, this will be one more in a series of unfair budgets that will lead to compromises in the classrooms and higher property tax bills. We have identified an option that does not take any money from other school districts or programs and applies it to teaching our children.”
In his budget address, Murphy boasted of a $336 million increase in school funding, but only nine school districts receive more than half the increase: Newark increase of $53 million (6.6 percent), Elizabeth increase of $25.2 million (6.2 percent), Paterson increase of $24 million (5.5 percent), Trenton increase of $19.3 million (7.7 percent), Plainfield increase of $18.5 million (13.1 percent), Atlantic City increase of $17.8 million (44 percent), New Brunswick increase of $10.8 million (7.7 percent), Bridgeton increase of $8.2 million (9 percent), North Brunswick increase of $6 million (26.6 percent.)
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