CLIFFSIDE PARK – Governor Phil Murphy celebrated the signing of a school funding bill the Governor's office called "historic" today, appearing at a signing ceremony this morning at a Cliffside Park elementary school. The bill makes changes to the state's school funding formula that will result in Paramus public schools receiving a 17.8% increase in education aid totaling $393,239.
“New Jersey’s education system experienced eight years of neglect during the previous administration, which underfunded our public schools by $9 billion,” said Governor Murphy. “This legislation is long overdue and I thank Senate President Steve Sweeney and Speaker Craig Coughlin for their commitment to modernize the State’s school funding system. The necessary adjustments we are making today will bring fairness to the system and ensure our school children receive the quality education they deserve.”
The legislation, which takes effect in Fiscal Year 2020, modifies the current school funding law to eliminate adjustment aid as well as State aid growth caps and allows adjustments to tax growth limitations for certain school districts. The Governor and legislative leaders believe that this will lead to more equitable funding distribution through the school funding formula. The legislation calls for aid to so-called "overfunded" districts to be reduced and aid to underfunded districts to increase so that all public school districts achieve their appropriate levels of assistance under the formula contained in the School Funding Reform Act (SFRA) by Fiscal Year 2025.
"The Board of Education feels that the majority of funding received from the state should go to new social and emotional support programs for students, as well as academic support," said Paramus School Business Administrator Steven Cea. "This funding will also enable us to move forward with installation of 3-point seat belts on all district school buses, to protect students but also offer property tax relief to homeowners."
Sponsors of the school funding legislation include Senate President Sweeney, Senator Teresa Ruiz, Senator Linda Greenstein, Assembly Speaker Coughlin and Assemblyman Louis Greenwald.
"The passage of this school funding bill is a victory for parents, students, and educators," said Paramus Mayor Richard LaBarbiera. "With greater state aid, our already outstanding public school system will keep putting students' needs first."