NJ Spotlight – APRIL 24, 2018
Senate President Steve Sweeney — with what now appears to be a growing consensus in both chambers — has long advocated that the state start to move to meet the letter of the School Funding Reform Act of 2008, including the phasing out of caps that were added by the Legislature to deal with both sudden decreases and increases in aid.
The OLS estimate provides the numbers of what that would ultimately be needed for each district, both with and without the caps. And they are eye-opening to say the least, with some districts shown to be tens of millions of dollars under what the law dictates, and scores equally overfunded.
Star Ledger Column – April 19, 2018
Sweeney won that fight. That became apparent when Murphy’s nominee to head the Department of Education told the committee that the two sides will work out new state-aid numbers in the next six to eight weeks.
NJ Spotlight – April 18, 2018
Repollet came before the committee and answered to repeated questions that the administration was willing to work with the Legislature and specifically its Democratic leadership to address their issues over Murphy’s funding proposal and specifically its provisions capping both aid increases and decreases. And they were willing to do it sooner rather than later, in time for next year’s fiscal budget, starting in July.
Bergen Record – April 18, 2018
Acting Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet said during a hearing on Murphy’s proposed $37.4 billion budget that the governor would consider shifting money to underfunded districts from those that receive more than they should under the state’s school funding law. Those changes could translate into tax cuts for those communities gaining aid and tax hikes for those losing it. Repollet’s commitment, although lacking in details, was a concession to Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-Gloucester, who delayed Repollet’s confirmation last week over concerns he wasn’t addressing the funding imbalances quickly enough.
South Jersey Times – Letter to the Editor – April 18, 2018
I am amazed that in 2018, many school districts throughout the state still have to fight and plead their case for their full share of state school aid to which they are legally entitled. It’s even more frustrating that many “underfunded” districts suffer even greater neglect because, in places like West Deptford, we have seen significant enrollment increases yet have received minimal to no additional school aid to match our growth. Enough is enough. Underfunded school districts deserve their fair share of funding based on the state’s 2008 formula. More parents and school officials should speak out against this unfairness.
Burlington County Times – April 17, 2018
Gov. Phil Murphy’s acting education commissioner says the governor is willing to accept changes to the school aid numbers proposed in his state budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
Politico – April 17, 2018
State Senate President Steve Sweeney said on Tuesday he’s “thrilled” with comments by the state’s top education official, who earlier in the day signaled a willingness to work with the Legislature to change how the state doles out education aid.
InsiderNJ – April 17, 2018
In his opening statement this afternoon to the Senate Budget Committee, Acting Commissioner of Education Lamont Repollet said he recognizes the need for modernizing the school funding formula by addressing adjustment aid and growth caps.
NJ Spotlight – OP-ED April 16, 2018
The School Funding Reform Act directs that the money it awards should ‘follow the child,’ but its own requirements make it impossible to do so. When the School Funding Reform Act was passed in 2008, it was heralded as a formula under which “money follows the child.” Under the School Funding Reform Act, state aid would be directed to at-risk children themselves, wherever they lived, as opposed to state aid being earmarked for certain school districts that
NJ Spotlight – April 12, 2018
Acting state Treasurer gives assurance of Murphy’s cooperation in finding remedy, as lawmakers let her know they’ve been taking ‘public fire’ on the issue. After being bombarded with complaints about the way his first state budget would distribute school aid, there are now clear indications that Gov. Phil Murphy is willing to go back to the drawing board with lawmakers.