Press Release
Senator Declan O'Scanlon Senator Declan O'Scanlon (R-13)
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Contact: Shawna Sullivan / (732) 444-1838
January 9, 2023
O’Scanlon, Scharfenberger & Flynn: Increases in School Stabilization Aid a Good Start, But Work is Far from Over

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon, Assemblyman Gerry Scharfenberger, and Assemblywoman Victoria Flynn (all R-Monmouth) announced that six school systems within the 13th Legislative District will receive additional funding in the form of Stabilization Aid this school year, which will offset loses those schools encountered when the Murphy Administration reduced state aid to several Monmouth County school districts.

Following Gov. Murphy’s school aid cuts, Sen. Declan O’Scanlon, Asm. Gerry Scharfenberger, and Asw. Victoria Flynn announced that six school systems within the 13th Legislative District will receive additional funding in the form of Stabilization Aid this school year. (Flickr)

The news of increased funds comes after months of advocacy by the legislators of District 13 to the New Jersey Department of Education that school districts cannot absorb those losses while also trying to address the academic, social and emotional needs of students following years of interrupted learning due to the pandemic. All three legislators have supported the use of the federal dollars the State has received but not yet used to address these shortfalls in funding.

“This is a step in the right direction, but the work is far from over. It is encouraging that our consistent advocacy has resulted in additional funding, yet we have a long way to go until our schools recoup the entirety of aid they rightfully deserve,” said Senator O’Scanlon. “We are not going to rest on our laurels, we are going to continue to push the administration and Department of Education until our school districts are made whole. We will stay to be on the frontlines of this fight and this coming budget cycle will give another opportunity to keep the pressure mounting.”

“It is encouraging to see that the enormous amount of force we put on the New Jersey Department of Education during the Assembly Budget Committee hearings led to this announcement. We have and will continue to hold the department accountable for the negative impacts their cuts have had on our schools as well as taxpayers who have been left to carry the financial burden,” commented Assemblyman Scharfenberger. “I am encouraged that they have relented, and more aid is rightfully being sent to these districts, yet we have a long road ahead of us.”

Assemblywoman Flynn concurred with her colleagues and commented that,

“While we are pleased that the State has restored some funding for the current school year to our school districts here in Monmouth County, we all know it is not a long-term solution to the public education crisis that exists in this State. The fact remains that the State chose to cut state aid to District 13 school districts earlier this year, in the amount of $7.4 million, despite being aware of the remedial work that needs to be done to catch students up because of interruptions to their schooling over the last three years. That decision alone was unconscionable. We have no guarantee that those school districts receiving stabilization aid this year will receive it again next year, which is startling news to any school district that is now in the throes of preparing for next school year’s budget.”

Assemblywoman Flynn further commented on the delayed release of Spring test scores by the State (which was released on the eve of the holiday season) by noting that, “To date, there appears to be no plan by the State to combat learning loss – an inexcusable lack of action that has very real-world implications. For instance, the data released about the present-day High School Seniors in this State shows more than half are not ready to graduate high school. How is that acceptable?  How does this data not set off alarm bells throughout the State to address those known gaps in education? Thus, the restoration of funding is fantastic news for those school districts that applied to receive this one-time funding source, but the State needs to implement a long-term solution to reallocate State resources to address the known academic needs of our students while also ensuring that schools have additional support to address the mental health needs of New Jersey students. We need to treat students as a priority, and right now, we are not, as a State, in how we budget for our schools.”

13th Legislative Districts Awarded Stabilization Aid

  1. Hazlet Schools: $336,545
  2. Keansburg Schools: $3,640,000
  3. Keyport Schools: $56,803
  4. Marlboro Schools: $2,143,646
  5. Middletown Township Schools: $1,970,000
  6. Union Beach Schools: $1,124,800

Stabilization Aid is a competitive grant process that school districts must apply for to recuperate limited funding from cuts imposed as a result of State’s School Funding Formula changes enacted by the Murphy Administration. The FY 2023 State Budget held a total of $30 million for this grant.

Comparatively, schools within the 13th Legislative District (Monmouth County) were imposed with $7.4 million in funding cuts this year and a total of over $19 million since the changes were implemented in 2018.

Website Post:
https://www.senatenj.com/index.php/oscanlon/oscanlon-scharfenberger-flynn-increases-in-school-stabilization-aid-a-good-start-but-work-is-far-from-over/59263