TRENTON, NJ -- Assemblyman Dan Benson (D-Hamilton) wants to give school districts more flexibility in how they allocate funding during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and as they face the evolving challenges of delivering education during the 2020/2021 academic year.
"The coronavirus pandemic has created unforeseeable complexities and constraints on schools’ financial resources. As the pandemic and guidance evolves, schools are set to experience corresponding changes," said Benson. “By providing this financial tool to districts, one of many needed, we give them flexibility to better equip themselves for the unexpected.”
Benson's bill (A-4310), which was passed by the Assembly Education Committee Monday, would allow any sources of miscellaneous revenues, attributed to the financial impacts of COVID-19, to be included in anticipated revenue for the 2021 calendar or fiscal year budget of a local unit. It would also provide that a school district can maintain an undesignated four percent of its budgeted general fund, which can be put towards and transferred across categories without approval.
“Whether school buildings will be able to operate for in-person instruction, keep with their hybrid model or again need to implement virtual learning, the ability to shift money where it’s needed is critical. From covering the costs of more PPE, enhanced sanitizing, using more buses to accommodate social distancing, laptops or other devices, and everything in between, we cannot anticipate the exact need," added Benson.
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