TRENTON –Governor Phil Murphy today signed a bill to offer additional funding to school districts that will see a reduction in school aid from the State in the Fiscal Year 2024 budget as a result of the S-2 funding formula. The legislation will make a total of $103,023,579 available to nearly 170 eligible districts.
“Providing our students with the first-rate education they deserve remains a critical priority of my Administration,” said Governor Murphy.“This additional funding was introduced in partnership with the Legislature to support our schools in continuing to offer high-quality instruction to students as the state adjusts to incremental changes in the statutorily-established school funding formula each year. I look forward to continuing to work alongside educational stakeholders and legislative partners towards our shared goal of ensuring every New Jersey child receives an education that will set them up for a bright future.”
The bill (S-3732) was created in partnership with the Legislature. The bill’s sponsors are Senators Vin Gopal and Andrew Zwicker, and Assembly members Roy Freiman, Paul Moriarty, Lisa Swain, and Raj Mukherji.
“This restored funding meets an immediate need in public schools, and keeps dozens of districts across the state from having to make difficult choices, eliminate positions and cut back vital programs,”said Senator Gopal, Chair of the Senate Education Committee. “By acting decisively and with urgency we are providing districts a measure of relief as they plan out their future budgets and continue to deliver a quality education to students.”
“New Jersey’s outstanding public schools are considered the best in the country, but funding adjustments in Fiscal Year 2024 may have led to increased class sizes, cutting programs, and job losses in the next school year,” said Senator Zwicker. “Today, we are providing supplemental aid to mitigate the impact of those adjustments on behalf of various districts and the communities they serve. I will continue to work toward a long-term solution for our districts beyond next year and I will be joining my colleagues from both sides of the aisle and the Governor to do just that in the months ahead.”
“There is nothing more important to invest in than our children’s future. The families who live in New Jersey deserve the best public schools in the country, and with this investment, we will continue that commitment to the people who live here. After all of the disruption to learning through the pandemic, the last thing we need is for families to worry about teachers being laid off or services being cut,” said Assemblyman Freiman. “While in office, I have fought for sound, responsible budget policies, and they’re paying off— we’re giving our schools the resources they need to deliver great education to our children, while keeping property taxes low. This investment represents that commitment, and I am proud to sponsor it.”
The legislation allows school districts that will see a reduction in school aid in the Fiscal Year 2024 budget to request an additional amount of aid equal to 66 percent of the difference between the amount they received in the 2022-2023 school year and the amount of aid currently proposed for the 2023-2024 school year. All eligible districts that submit a request to the Commissioner of Education will receive this additional funding, and must include a written plan indicating how they intend to fund operations in future years when this aid is no longer available.
“The New Jersey Department of Education commends the partnership between Governor Murphy and the legislature in providing supplemental funding for the 2023-2024 school year to New Jersey schools,”said Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan, Acting Commissioner of Education. “Governor Murphy’s swift action to provide additional funding is integral in ensuring stability for all of New Jersey’s local educational agencies programmatically and educationally.”