MANVILLE, NJ - Historically one of the most underfunded school districts in New Jersey, Manville schools will receive an additional $3,280,647 state aid in the coming year, representing a 54.2 percent increase over FY-2018 state aid, according to Sen. Christopher "Kip"  Kip Bateman (R-16) and Mayor Richard Onderko

The state aid for the 2018-19 school year, representsa 54.2 percent increase over FY-2018 state aid.

“Manville has suffered a number of hardships that have made the impact of flat state aid even worse, such as damage from Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy. Homes were abandoned, the cost of flood insurance went up, and the poverty rate has gone through the roof," Bateman said.

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"Yet, through all of this, we haven’t seen an extra penny in state aid until now. When the state doesn’t adequately fund our schools, property taxpayers are forced to make up the difference,” he added. “I am very glad that we, as a community of parents, school officials, and local leaders, came together to fight for full funding. Thank you for standing up. It was the right thing to do.”

“Manville has long been the “forgotten town” when it comes to lowering storm water levels that impact our serious flooding problems. Today, however, we are no longer the “forgotten town” when it comes to school funding,”  Onderko said.

“Manville received the largest percentage increase in Somerset County and rightfully so. This is great news. Increased school funding will help stabilize property taxes over the next 5 years and will provide a higher quality education for Manville students," he added. "This school funding fix was long overdue and very much appreciated in Manville. A big thank you to all our legislators in Trenton.”

The new school funding changes passed by the Legislature during the budget process this week would also establish a pathway to full funding for all school districts, including Manville. When the legislation (S-2) is fully implemented in the coming years, Manville will be fully-funded and have received an additional $10,040,498 in state aid, which represents a 165.8 percent increase over what the district received in FY-2018 state aid.

Other school districts also will receive significant increases in state aid: Bound Brook will see a 41.41 percent increase and Somerville schools will receive a 17.7 percent increase.

Manville is the eighth most underfunded school district in the state, according to Bateman. Over the last several years, state aid has remained flat, despite the fact that enrollment in the district has skyrocketed and an increasing number of students in Manville require special services, such as English as a Second Language. 49 percent of Manville students require free or reduced cost lunches. The district has had to lay off teachers and cut programs, just to make ends meet, according to Onderko.

Bateman voted for the school funding changes under S-2. He has spent years partnering with local and school officials to try and secure fair and adequate state aid for students and taxpayers in Manville, and underfunded districts statewide.

“Access to public education is a basic human right,”  Bateman said. “A child should never have to pay the price for the state’s inability to meet their needs. Fully-funding our schools is not a waste of taxpayer money – it’s a fair and appropriate investment in the very people who will shape our future. Because of this new law, kids and taxpayers in Manville, and underfunded districts throughout New Jersey, will finally get the dollars they deserve.”