NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - State aid for the city's schools will increase $6.3 million under a legislation Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law this week to revise the formula for distributing funding.
New Brunswick will receive $133,216,698 for the 2018-19 school, an increase of 5 percent from the $126,873,046 the school district receive this past academic year.
Murphy this week signed a bill designed to modernize and equalize the state funding of the state's school districts. It is the first reform of the formula to dole out money to schools in 10 years.
"“New Jersey’s education system experienced eight years of neglect during the previous administration, which underfunded our public schools by $9 billion,” Murphy said. "The necessary adjustments we are making will bring fairness to the system and ensure our school children receive the quality education they deserve," he said.
Over the course of seven years, aid to "over-funded" districts will be reduced and aid to "under-funded" districts will be increased so that all public school districts achieve their appropriate levels of assistance under the formula contained in the School Funding Reform Act by fiscal year 2025.
Under the reform act, the Abbott District schools, the 31 poorer urban or special needs districts, will be allowed to exceed the state imposed 2 percent cap on tax increases without voter approval, to bring their local tax levy up to the expected amount as determined in the state funding formula.
Non-Abbott Districts must still comply with the 2 percent cap in tax hikes.
Other urban districts will also see increases in state add. Perth Amboy, for example, will see aid increase from $161,347, 542 this past school year to $168,100,857, for the coming year, a boost of 4.19 percent.
Highland Park schools will receive a Highland Park from 2.5 percent increase, from $3,8885,439 to $3,982,575, and Middlesex County Vocational Technical Schools will receive a five percent increase from $13,520,974 up to $14,197,023.
State aid will drop in some districts, such as Old Bridge Township, which will receive $44,170,566, a decrease of 1.36 from the $44,779,742 that the school district received this past year.
Murphy said the new funding formula is a more balanced approach that will provide more equitable funding distribution.